Saturday, November 21, 2015

What to do with leaves

What to do with leaves, if one cannot leave them
Here beneath aspen, gum, maple and birch
As what they become in winter, a kind of skirt
To warm and feed fanned roots, is gather and

Toss them on a garden. She spreads hers
Over bed and path alike, with straw, with

Dead grass and weeds, barn bedding, the contents
Of kitchen bucket and tumble barrel, along

With any foliage that comes to hand, even prunings
If too small to bother with for her iron stove.
This is for worms and all their small companions
Heaving aside the earth of path and bed alike,

Leveling and loosening, making untilled tilth.
Evening comes and she stills, listening
As the city of humus thrums toward spring.
Very likely it's best to interfere not
Even this much in things, she tells herself, yet
She's always loved to tell her children: eat.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Or otherwise

Beets are a thing, she mused; all summer
Every seed she'd planted out refused
Every opportunity to sprout, but 
Those in flats thrived, just as those
Seedsmen told her they would not.

As for after they were transplanted, well!
Rare was the beet that was not found by gophers.
Even so, some were left not quite finished

As the gophers waddled away, and

Those she was grateful for. She brought in
Her greens; made wilted salad; then
In winter came across again the muddy half-moons.
Nothing is better than gifted beetroot steamed,
Gopher bitten, she told herself, or otherwise.