Harvest

Even then there is one more matter

of not knowing: among the wrinkled
pods pushed into the soil, which

will tendril into vine, and which
burrow into loamy forgetting.
Luisa A. Igloria, “Obscurity

We have saved the seeds
from the one poblano pepper
that the season gave us.
We plant them in pots,
but the seedlings that poke
through the soil
soon reveal themselves to be weeds.

The herbs that should take over
the yard do not. The mint withers,
and the basil falls prey to the bacteria
that spots the leaves to inedibility.

Meanwhile, in the front flower box,
among the dead petunias, an exuberant
tomato plant pushes toward the sun.
Where did it come from?
A polluted potting mix?
A rotting tomato chucked into the compost,
seeds sprouting in the dark unknown?

We eat our tomato sandwiches,
the only harvest from the season’s spoils.
No sandwich ever tasted better,
the only one from this year’s garden.

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Kristin Berkey-Abbott has published two chapbooks: Whistling Past the Graveyard (Pudding House Publications) and I Stand Here Shredding Documents (Finishing Line Press). She oversees the department of General Education at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and she teaches as an adjunct at both Broward College and City College. She writes regularly about books, creativity, poetry, and modern life at her creativity blog, and she explores a variety of spiritual issues at her theology blog. Her website gives more information about her writing and her academic career.

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