A Petrarchan sonnet in part in response to an exercise calling for consideration of contrast in word sounds and meaning. I ended up leaving that aspect mostly alone. The contrast I found in my gardening that day was between what I was doing and what I wanted to do; planting cuttings and rhizomes is asexual propagation.


(for Darren)

I’m replanting roots and cuttings in the garden:
Island musk divisions and fingers of pinecone ginger
I chopped from paper-skinned, lumpy hands, a dozen
Pieces I’ve carried in a bowl to where I’ll plant them in a single
Staggered row in the planter that gets dappled sun. Zingiber
, say the books, thrives best in shade and rich soil.
What I’m turning over is red Georgia clay that stains my fingers,
So I amend mere ground, mix it to fertility with a rusted trowel.
The sun on your shoulders as you watch me get dirt under my nails
Makes me want to drop my trowel, straddle you, make poems,
Call your name, shout yes to your aye, cleave female to male.
But the neighbors are home, so I go back to planting rhizomes,
Knowing that behind your sun-narrowed eyes, you also see those things,
Picturing not future ginger tea, but long thighs against strong.


(photo: Wikipedia)


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