by Kris Demien
In this season between new moons, blood
moons, and the scythe, clouds, and clouds,
and clouds gather, corralled at the edge of the west hills.
We look up, at an opening
in the dilemma of our own making, wondering
if our salvation floats above us in the flocked bellies of sheep.
Drought dyes the eastern sky the color of ripening tomatoes at noon.
We do not bother to clean, or harvest. We hope rain
will take the dust out of the air, and swell the pears. When the earth
still wore her icy veils in this season, when her flows alternated,
hot and cold, in a predictable rhythm, before we scarred her,
and drilled her, and searched her, and cleared her with unending desire,
it was here, in this time that we’d sort it all out,
the keepers from the throw-backs, the seed from the bedding,
and measure our results. We’d leave through the back door,
our tools in hand: Our poles and nets and hooks;
our jack knives and our baskets, our clippers
and our pruning knives. We’d stoop low and
gather what we could. We would smell the tang
of leaves ready to turn. We would wake to a later
dawn, and feel the chill of last night’s quiet rain
in our bones. Now, we watch the sky, waiting for drops
to fall, waiting for the small, dark dots of wet
to appear in the garden’s dust. We pack away the sandals
and the sunscreen, and find the rain hat
on a hook in the basement, the boots
under the stairs. In this season between intention and result,
between the seed and the fruit, between what to take out
and what to leave in, we try to get comfortable sitting on a sharp,
new edge we honed ourselves.