Garden Fires

Photo by binder1

In May I pulled away winter’s weeds,
spread manure, and fastened new
fencing. We made a trellis from pine saplings,
an art installation for tomatoes to climb.
Finally time to plant broccoli, lettuce, and chard.

When I didn’t want to think anymore about
fires in the west, when I felt helpless as so many
lost homes, my tears moistened
the soil. I imagined they were rain
falling in California.

Here it was warm enough in to plant
peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant. Wildfires
spread out west, consequence of climate
change. I weeded every morning, held tiny
cucumber blossoms in my finger tips.

I thought of smoke-filled skies,
outrunning fires.
Here tomatoes grew in profusion.
Winter squash
climbed the trellis,
down the other side.

Each morning’s grace was
a meditation. I imagined sitting
inside a golden squash blossom,

Bees buzz gently,
covered with gold pollen,
intent on doing only
one thing at a time, and notice only nectar.
I gather herbs and tomatoes,
listen to what the insects say.

Elaine Reardon

Elaine has worked as an ESL teacher and is first generation in the United States herself. Her first chapbook, The Heart Is a Nursery for Hope, won first honors from Flutter Press. Her second chapbook, Look Behind You, was published in 2019. Most recently, Elaine’s poetry has been published in Pensive Journal, Aerogramme, Culinary Origami, and similar journals. Website:

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