person digging in garden

The Worth of Gardening

For years I tried to
put flames to the
boy engulfed in
desperate need of
shelter from the
bitter barked contempt
of his father’s regular rage.

His roiling heat of
alcoholic acid
scalded everything
I tried to be
leaving me drowning
in quinine tears.

Then one day
the sun wrapped its
arms around me
slowly thawing the
brittle memories that had left
me barren
and disheartened

settling me in the rich garden
that my life has become
gently taking away the matches
and leaving my hands
caressing the soil

regretting only
that I had failed to
mulch
much sooner.

Won 2nd Award of Merit in the 2018 League of Minnesota Poets Southeastern MN Poets Award. Featured image by Lisa Fotios from Pexels.