Perennials

The evening we went
shopping for perennials, the doors
to the garden section of Home Depot
were closed, and we had to take
the long way inside through the main
double doors, making a left
past the stacked patio chairs, the tiki
torches, the cushions, the chimes
and rubber hoses. And yet, minute
by minute the sky deepened like a sheet
of indigo metal overhead, because of course
that section had no ceiling, no roof.
I thought it strange— the measures taken
toward creating enclosure here,
where each bud and leaf in its pod
of potting medium, each succulent in sand
and straw was no longer a thing
in the wild yet never quite completely
domesticated. On a shelf next to real
and synthetic paving stones, grass seeds
slept in yellow plastic jugs resembling
large pour containers of pancake mix.
We moved from island to island,
choosing among tubs of green: salvia,
lavender, hosta; and finally six
fragrant groups of rosemary. We bore
them home; opened the gate, which
movement turned on the motion sensor
lights. We set them on the deck
within the backyard’s interior, where
under a new moon they waited until they
could be given back to the earth.

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