No canvas gardening gloves this year—
not out of any urge to reconnect
with Mother Earth, but because some critter
in the shed made an overwinter nest of the gloves
and so they’re chewed and piss-ridden,
and we’re in a rush to beat the rain
and to escape the already-swarming mosquitoes,
and we’re hungry for lunch,
so we’re slashing open the bags of potting soil,
dumping them in the easiest-to-reach pots,
pouring hastily like toddlers sloshing milk
into spilled over cereal bowls.
We stuff the sweet little begonias
and not-quite-bloomed-yet snapdragons
into the dark mix; cram cock’s comb
and coleus, nasturtiums and white clumps of alyssum
into their new mixed families. We water them—
gentle finally, at the end—just as the rain starts,
set them out on the deck, on the stoop,
window boxes teetering outside the windows.
They are our color, our comfort, our curb appeal
even as we are perfunctorily rough with them,
even as we live in the woods, no curb
from which to view and approve.

Photo used under CC