AESCULUS CALIFORNICA

EMILY PINKERTON

 
 

The store where I bought the seeds
you never planted but still kept
burned down this summer. Took
the apartments upstairs with it too, belching flames.
Nobody’s surprised, but the landlord
acts like it. Borrowed time isn’t market rate,
isn’t amenable to charitable terms. I walk by
& smell water poured on a campfire, rotting wood
and mold. I wanted to plant flowers. Dug up weeds
in the hot afternoon sun, hoping to grow new blooms
in blighted beds. The weeds grew back. Rain came.
Rot came. Summer aired it out, the stalks dry
as the seeds, still in their packets. New weeds to pull,
new beds to tend. Wild rosemary and sage. Tangled roots
toughen smooth hands. The wish of every verb and tense
contained in the single word: home.

 

 
 

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