Gathering Parsley Before the Solstice
Yes, some dawns have been white
with ice, but the afternoons have been blue hot
and we are still harvesting small things
from our garden.
I put on my red coat, worn skiing, long ago
and torn then by the brutal snow.
Now the rain leaps from the clouds;
Down through the songless trees it glides.
The knife lies on the scored cutting
board. I take it out into the storm, to slice
parsley from the nearly barren garden.
Rain sings on my arms and feet. Dark shapes are
scattered across my shoes–the notes of a botched aria.
The lawn slides away under my feet.
In the garden, puddles are strewn with wreckage:
cracked pods, bits of branches, nests, leaves,
the rubble of autumn. There are smeared
footprints of foraging animals.
In the strawberry patch, oak leaves rot with the unsought fruit.
Tomatoes sink in the mud, mushy globes
of green and red, like eroded stars
dissolving near ruined worlds.
Over the parsley I lean and cut. So close
to winter, it sprouts green, shaking in the rain.
Water slices along the knife, warping reflections.
Two handfuls will suffice.
I gather them up and go inside,
where it’s dry. Somewhere, on high,
the rain begins to turn to ice.