Walking to My Father’s Grave,
I Pass His Old Garden
The trees are gone. Not even a stump left to guide me.
Instead there are rows of cabbages, snaps peas, carrots.
Where the blossom lay, the new owner’s trench of leeks.
In later years, the garden was all he knew of the world.
The idle release of a marigold and the apple’s journey
toward becoming the hard flesh he took back each morning
and consumed. It’s what I’m thinking of today as I pass
the garden, that soil’s rich motor. What he gazed at
back then, cultivated now by a younger man. But why not
make room for the yams, the sprouts? I’m on my way
with a handful of parsnips. After all, he had no time
for the manicured lawns, nor jars of cut flowers
in shops and cemeteries. He preferred the wild clematis,
the spectral wigs of dandelion flowers seeding
the chapel grounds, their clocks canceling above the dead.
Header photo by nature photos, courtesy Shutterstock. Photo of Adam Chiles by Miriam Berkley.