Cold Storage

Store your hearts in the cellar
Packed in cool, damp sand. Don’t worry.
They’ll last. Grow dozens with an ancient sun.
You can’t eat your hearts out all at once.

Let frost kiss their shoulders every fall
Before you pull them. Leave the clinging dirt.
Eat the nicked and bruised ones first
Lest they spoil the rest with rot.

Work your way through the toughened stash
Smallest to largest by each winter’s end,
Compost whatever withered ones are left,
Except for the hearts you’ve saved, still firm,

For cancer’s next off-season call,
Small lungs drowned in meconium tar,
Beloved lost in plots of self–harvest,
Your father’s final disregard: death.


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