Late Blooming

To decide if you need to buy tomatoes, you visit yours.
One rots on the rock upon which you propped it
to avoid moist soil. Prehistoric armored insects
encircle it like centuries, or sentries, overseeing its
slouch, its decay, waiting their turn. Nearby, volunteer
marigolds riot gold despite blighted potato leaves,
freckled black. There may be nothing underground.

Nearby in another bed, mixed greens and red
nasturtiums flourish with volunteer snap peas
still wearing their purple hats, climbing
gone-to-seed arugula. And here, more volunteer
marigolds outlive their curly-seeded cousins, calendula,
offer shade to yellow-tongued violets’ small bloomings.
You couldn’t have anticipated these fall palettes:
complementary, analogous, too pretty, too tough to eat.

Nearby, a hammock of similar hues hangs between two
piñon trunks on straps that recently have come to mean
unfathomable lethality to your thought-hewn son.
You must take the hammock down. You try to shake
off grief. You shake needles from the woven cloth,
lay in it beneath the branches, swing in your cradle.
Somehow, in the dapple, you decide to trust
his wooden wisdom, fate-earned, your dark Odin
who survived his own terrible world tree.

5 October 2018

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