Preparing the Garden for Winter
I suppose I should hack off the crisp hands
of the squash vine and make pickles out of the
cucumbers, but I dumped all the vinegar on the
weeds. The ridiculous zucchini won’t stop reproducing.
I’m sick of the wifely obligation to turn them into
another goddamned green-flecked breakfast loaf.
My grandmother, one hundred and five now, spent her days
stocking shelves at the family hardware store.
She de-greased clanky bike parts and shined up
gritty piles of hinges with a rag dipped in lighter fluid.
She used her fingernails to scrape sticker gunk
off tubes of spackle. Just when her work started to
please her, she had to go home to prepare the evening meal.
I tried to fall in love with tending to pea shoots, the
mixing of bone meal, the scent of a round, fat
squash, or at least to bring myself to bother
with the overgrowth. Maybe I could get there if it
weren’t for the oily chains and singing drills.
If the key machine would stop preaching.
If its mound of shavings didn’t rise up from the
floor in a sort of holy, glittering glory.
If I could ignore the box of spare parts
calling to be tacked together, whether by
dowel or by twine, by brace or by bit,
anointed with WD-40, stroked by the sander,
shellacked and sent home in a paper sack
full of other glossy, delinquent, rough-cast poems.
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