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Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb


Upper Limits of Urban Gardening

To get to the garden on beet-red mornings,
when I was a girl, we took dirt paths
not elevators. To fill our watering cans,
we used long, green hoses
not barrels labeled Rain and Gray.
And we did not wonder what would happen
if the root vegetables raced each other
down beyond the soil's embrace. Back then,
the cultivated plants kept company
with native shrubs, not like these carrots
and edible comrades sharing a separate bed,
being pampered by captured solar caresses.
I confess it's an effort to feel grounded
enough—without getting dizzy—to wave
back to my neighbor pulling weeds,
tending tendrils within the next Plexiglas case
when our "backyard fence" is the empty space
of a ten-story drop from rooftop to busy street
below that which we dutifully grow to eat.



Feminine Ecology and Population Growth

I water these wild rose weeds,
a woman out of place,
one more human
attempting grace in the garden,
her stay overgrown,
hair wilting, thighs moist
in the fire heat of the season;
damn this breeding need
to bring one more flower
into a struggling paradise.

Originally appeared in Heliotrope: A Writer's Summer Solstice.


Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb's poetry has appeared in Wild Earth, Weber Studies, The Blueline Anthology, The Midwest Quarterly, Poems for a Livable Planet, and many others. She works as a mentor and co-editor of Sustainable Ways at Prescott College, and as co-publisher of Native West Press.
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