Two Poems by Dennis Held

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Planting Tulips in November

This foolish ritual of fall, looking
to spring: the trip to the feed store
the bulbs half price.      

But J., glorious J., who fell in love
with gardening and me, even after
the diagnosis: it’s a meme
or stereotype, hands deep in the loam

and eyes to the horizon where the future
is hiding or at least concealed by the sky
and not a metaphor in sight, just J.’s smile
and real bees and rills and hoes and an apple

tree shuffling off the wizened fruit that will
likely outlive me: that will never hear the word



Mining Up: Drought

Once they decided to turn
their drills around mining
the sky got a whole
lot easier: they had
to lower their sights as far
as what they could call
a harvest but once
they culled the clouds
one meaningless droplet
at a time such considerations
vanished, until not even
a wisp of a memory
remained. The rest
was easy, was history—
was all we could do
to recall the air.




Dennis HeldDennis Held won a Pushcart Prize in 2022 for his essay “What I’ll Miss,” first published in He lives in Spokane, Washington, in the Vinegar Flats neighborhood along Hangman Creek.

Read more poetry by Dennis Held previously appearing in two poems, Letter to America poem, three poems, three poems, and four poems.

Header photo by Peggychoucair, courtesy Pixabay.

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