Today's poem is by B. D. Love

Sunday Afternoon

A strong late August sunlight muscles in
among persimmon limbs and morning glories.
Alligator lizards, languorous in summer heat,
lie hidden in the foxtail grass that's overgrown
my yard. My gardening is weak.
A few fat red tomatoes strain to reach
the ground, where slugs secrete and wait.
The rest have gone to mockingbirds.
This yard is curious—persimmon, loquat,
kumquat, orange, pencil cactus, bay—
trees I'd never dreamed of, growing up
in Michigan among the apples, plums and pears.
I remember Big Bags Bennet's vines,
so full of fruit a neighborhood consumed
its fill, consumed, and still tomatoes came—
and rotted. That's when we jumped in.
We stuffed a Black Cat firecracker
into each swollen globe, and lobbed it high
above the Bennet place, until his roof
and walls were rich with instant catsup.
Mornings after he'd come out, a hose
in hand, and wash the whole thing down,
and some days later, once the sun had set,
we'd strike again. It went that way till fall.
He never told our parents,
though he knew our names. Somewhere
in some dark age, the old man must
have been a boy. And now, a man
myself, I take my stock of three sad vines,
starting to brown, as autumn fashions.
No children swipe my fruit.
My walls stay mainly clean. For that,
I'm glad—or so I tell the red-wing blackbird
as he tilts his head and claws the feeding dish
I failed this Sunday afternoon to seed.

Copyright © 2002 B. D. Love All rights reserved
from The MacGuffin
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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