Today's poem is by Adrienne Su

First Garden

All summer I've tried to hold on,
extend the season of freedom,
pictured false springs on windowsills,
a hoard of frozen tomatoes. As if autumn

could be held off, as if I didn't love it,
as if lacking in solitude and idleness,
I've dragged out each day, prolonged it
by not enjoying it. This morning was crisp

though mostly summer. Expecting
to mind, I didn't. The sunflowers
with broken necks, stems of bitter
broccoli, tired nasturtiums—everything

I loved could go to ruin. As their motions
and protests have slowly turned legible,
I've been able to pass most days alone
another year, even as the children

move closer to leaving and my devotion
remains in its wrong and right position.
I've forgotten my center, tried to take it
from the soil, always with excellent reasons.

Nothing's wrong with loving the earth,
but the earth is one of many necessary
altars. The secret of creation would never be
so obvious. I've got to embrace the fear,

be a failure, act more like a president:
give up the re-digging, excess alertness,
misinterpreting of wilt—killing the plant
that wanted neglect, with kindness.

Copyright © 2013 Adrienne Su All rights reserved
from Southwest Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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