Putting In This Year's Garden
For Dad, who taught me how to raise one, among other things
I don't know why I bothered
with the garden this late.
Mother's Day is the natural cut-off here,
but here I am pulling out winter's leftover
weeds and deadwood vines halfway
through June. Dad would have been picking
lettuce by now, but mine is still
in the packet. But it's a promise
I keep in the spring: to rake
the soil to planting-ready; to follow
rows up and down, removing stones
and roots, clearing the way
for squash and cukes; to string up rows
of peas and beans and stake up
future clumps of tomatoes; to water
and wait for the first sign of sprouting
seed; to lie in wait for snails
that would razor down seedlings.
To know, like dads know, that a garden
sometimes takes awhile to produce.