THE GARDENER’S LAMENT
Starting on the Ides of March
I have seen my poor wife arch
Her greening brows, begin to plan
Precisely where to plant her can-
teloupes, tomatoes, peas and corn,
Rhubarb, lettuce, Plenty’s Horn.
April brings the seeds a-sprouting
In our kitchen, stemlings mounting
Up our dining rooms bare walls
In our living room and halls,
Bathtub filled with greening babies—
Future yeses, no’s and maybe’s.
May’s the time to plant and crack
The earthen beds and break your back
By heaving tons of sod or mulch or
Some such boons to horticulture.
June—our growing babes are prey
To bugs and slugs; Cocoons of May
Have sprouted into caterpillars;
My wife and I—the June bug killers—
Forgot to spray the tree for leeches—
Whoops! Too bad, we lost the peaches.
Come July the currants red
Are calling us from early bed
To pick and pick and pick and pick
And pick and pick til we grow sick
Of picking. Lo! No end in sight.
It’s time to pray for currant blight.
In August-time the corn is high
As–well—a tallish midget’s eye.
The sun’s been hot—a fierce attack—
And all that’s green has turned to black.
But never fear! My lovely mate is
Overburdened with tomatoes.
September’s crop is fit to burst—
Too bad the deer have got it first.
October’s time to plow it under,
Dream of next year’s harvest plunder,
Calculate the season’s fee—
A dollar-ninety-eight a pea!
For tho’ the snows sift white and deeper,
Winter’s veggies sure are cheaper.
Begging all your green thumb’s pardon,
I bid farewell to this year’s garden,
While ordering Burpee o’er the phone.
There’s nothing like a grow-your-own.
How does your garden grow?
If you find yourself in Beacon NY on Friday night May 2, I will be a featured poet at the Howland Center at 8pm–I’ll be reading some of my newest work. Hope to see you there!