Poem is the theme.
I could wax poetic for the entire NaBloPoMo month of April, on gardening. I am a total, unapologetic idiot about this—shouting and gesticulating wildly about the presence of ordinary things, like my youngest son did as a toddler every time he saw a truck. I can't get over the miracle of it. Scraps left dying in the ground, brought newly to life, volunteering to be awake again. Here is a Brussels sprout, beheaded in late September, that the following April 1 has shot new life from the stump of its neck and is thinking about trying again to wage war against the cabbage moths.
And here is an asparagus, badly photographed. Last year a fern, this year it pokes its tiny phallic head up through the mulch and announces the onset of the growing season. I will leave out several sentences on erections and vegetative Nature Gods that occur to me.
Garlic, which I simply stole from the contents of my CSA farm box and set in the ground. It appears fragile, green and sylphlike, but its purpose is to stand as sentry against various pests, holding the line for my major crops, along with herbs and companion plants.
In the front yard, daffodils unfurl and waken, like ancient faeries, long-underground, who have waited for this moment to re-emerge from hiding. I can hear them speak the Old Tongue on the whispers of the breeze.
My husband and son planted only half our yard with tulips last fall. Now, finally, the section of yard to the left of my garden path has erupted into life and is looking scornfully at its twin–a mirror that reflects the side of my family which cannot get its act together no matter how hard we all try.
I want to grow us food. And hope. And purpose. My children, recently buried under heaps of textbooks and bubbled answer sheets should feel the honesty of a spade in their hands and the accomplishment of a berry picked that was truly earned. My yard, if a riot of hummingbirds, bees and living edibles, cannot surround the house of dead souls. And so I will garden, though pain may beat me down by end of day, because the meaning in the soil, the shoots, the rot, the produce–is a poem I can't stop recanting under my breath.