The thing is to love life, even when
you don’t have the stomach for it
I labor all day in the garden,
steeped in textures and pink-tinted leaves,
stalks of daylily drying, sedum
assembling for bloom,
weed out litanies of not-rights
along with wiregrass and clover.
What do you think must be different?
Who doesn’t understand?
Don’t you know this is perfect,
coneflowers fed on by finches,
hosta half-eaten by deer? Hornets
nesting in the birdfeeder you meant
to fill? Purple spikes of liriope
have waited all summer to flower.
Bundling weeds in a bucket—
I dump them over the fence.
For all our sakes—let it go.
Shut the storm door softly so as
not to startle the wren. Fill the birdbaths
and hummingbird feeders—pour out
the drowning bees. How long
have you waited for just this time?
Tie together the stems of ordinary days
and wear them as if they matter.
Prop up stalks that are toppled.
Prune what is out of control.
Deadhead the didn’t-get-to dos.
Watch the last black swallowtail
hanging silly on hyssop, and clouds
gathering over blue mountains.