Today's poem is by Susan Meyers
Keep and Give AwayWhat do I know of man's destiny?
I could tell you more about radishes.
With a bushel basket in hand
he's the tally of my ripest desires,
more than the sum of his summer
crops, perfect and plentiful as they are
even counting Early Contenders
and Silver Queen. Burpless
cucumbers, Kentucky Wonders too.
Throw in the fruit to sweeten
the numbers: blackberries and figs
piled in pyramids or weighed
in pecks. And don't forget
the peppers (red yellow green),
divided into keep and give away.
Dinner platesheaped with leafiness,
tubers and podsheavy
with the haul and roots of his labor.
Now he's shelling peas in his lap
and I sit across the room, listening
to the ping, ping. He's more
than the sum, I cannot count the ways,
and despite a constant reckoning
of work and luck, numbers fail me
in this long, hot growing season.
Copyright © 2004 Susan Meyers All rights reserved
from The Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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