I work the back garden, drag bags of mulch to the edge
to prepare for the coming winter. Hydrangea leaves are
yellowing, wilted heads of Black- Eyed Susans hang from
limp stems. I work around Azaleas, Rhododendrons
building small mounds around their base. The sky is gray
clouds turning dark, thunder booms from the distance. I
continue to work toward the annuals. Begonias, Impatiens
already ceding to the weathers’ changes, await the last
deadly frost. I think of covering them over, but prop them
up in the dark wet bark.
We will never have that promised beer or read a poemin the stale air of a tap room. I will not read that new poem
or story, the ones you left on the tip of a pen. You ceded
yourself before the frost, leaving words full of life, love and
loneliness that like perennials live for another season. Though
I never met you; I knew you from our common bound of
words flowing back and forth across the Atlantic. I work the
garden the way I work a poem, adjusting, crafting it just right.
I think of words, of your words as sadness lingers about me.
I finish the garden as the sky opens, whimpers sheds tears
until the hard early autumn rain drenches me so that no one
can see I am crying with the rain.