The Garden That Never Dreams

by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

After the winter of no winter,
the parsley rises tentatively,
curled fingers to test the air
before billowing into full form.
The broccoli goes to town,
and finding no one there except
hollowing-out pine trees
in backyard composts, bolts
toward full decline. Carrot tails
wave in the wind, potatoes dive
into the warming ground,
sending up flags of July.
All March, what should be dead
comes alive: redbuds break out
all over town a month early, as if
waking late on a Sunday, and panicking
that it’s Monday. Too-green grass, too-early
daffodils, too-dark-skied horizons
storm through, the world so far out of whack,
even the air heats its long fingers
months ahead of time, blurring
whether to plant or harvest.
Meanwhile, the dog goes missing,
the alarm goes off at the wrong time,
the phone call that matters most drops
and the dreamtime mismatches past
longings with present ones. When morning
comes at the right time, the old doves
call for each other in the cedar,
and we lean our heads toward the garden
that never dreams, the rushed future,
pouring into the welcoming ground.


Top City Poetry

edited by Dennis Etzel Jr.

Hello, poetry readers! Spring has sprung, so what better way to celebrate than to get out into the sun, til the earth, sow some seeds, and get out these poems to think about what it’s like to garden. I hope these poems garden some inspiration for you as they have me.