At this annual changing of the guard, when the garden is battening her hatches and the first hard freeze of the year looms over the sunset of our horizon, I thought perhaps I should remind all that the ice season is as short-lived as the rest of the seasons, that eventually Old Man Winter will loosen his sturdy grip on the land and the garden, and Delicate Miss Spring will once again arrive in all her flowered, bee-hovering glory. So here’s a little poem to hold close through the dark months to come, to remind you that the slanted light of spring will find you sooner rather than later.
Winter’s vestigial buttercream melts
in the sweet April sunshine, oozes
down the garden steps. I warm
the twin loaves of my derrière
on a batch of bugle weed sprouting
along the pathway.
My unseasoned fingers
sift the waiting cocoa soil
of an herbaceous border, flour
impatient for summer’s eggs
and milk. Dolloped here
among these raw ingredients
I implore – who bakes this cake?
This poem, “Kitchen Garden”, was first published in MO: Writings from the River, the literary journal of Montana State University, Great Falls, 4th Edition, Spring 2009.