Still Time

by | Dec 15, 2023 | Poetry

Hands holding wet soil over a garden.

You say you don’t want to
plant a garden this year. Let’s not
decide just yet, I say, because
I think you do want to
plant a garden, but maybe
today you don’t want to plant
a garden. The rain hasn’t stopped,
and there’s too much work
to be done that’s not the work
we want to do. The plants should
already be in the ground, you say.
We’ve got time, I say, but I don’t
really know about gardens
or time. Do our lives get narrower
or larger as we live them? I mean,
are we slipping from the present
as we settle into routines, patterns,
circling the past in an ever
shorter well-worn path?
Or are we accumulating
experience, gathering people,
events, emotions that we can
someday gesture at, widely,
as if to say look at all this,
a life?
I am asking. We will finish
what work we have. There will
be more. The rain will stop,
eventually. We will plant a garden
this year, again. We will. We say,
we have time. We have time.

Photo used and adapted under public domain

About The Author


Patrick Swaney’s first poetry collection, Hand Over Hand Over the Edge of the World, is forthcoming in 2024 from YesYes Books. He teaches literature and creative writing at Catawba College. His writing has appeared in Boulevard, Conduit, The Southeast Review, and elsewhere.