For Love of Gardening
Aunt Felicia unearths her wedding at my toes
always muddier and sorrier than the leaves she banks in soil.
It's for the digging she does it, she says,
the thumbing for worms, the nagging at weeds.
It ploughs her through the honeymoon loam,
trowels her nights with white veils of insecticide
to guard against the unaccented truth: it would
have ended a mistended plot under some man's florid hands.
It is in our roots -- at this she rakes me with her eyes --
something in the water, the crumbly earth or both
make for the germination of wind-stranded pollen a kind
of Venus flytrap which devours the most carefully plotted plants.
I squish a worm with my heel: Mother's at her 5th divorce,
I'm at my 3rd. Aunt Felicia doesn't know shit from compost.
Squeezing Sweetness out of Peppers
Capsicums are often yellow, red or green.
Orange ones are the sweetest.
The fruit vendor swore by this.
I never found them at his place,
though he made me look into his drawers.
Cold storage, I shivered. The gold of his ring
stroked my exposed shoulders, the Midas touch.
There was much shop talk first about
vegetables. His wife never understood.
Out loud I could never admit he was a prick,
how he made me pay afterwards. Always.
Tricolored peppers in a brown bag suffer
death in the fridge before burial in compost.
Not one of them orange as promised.