Recovering from an Ungardening


I’ve lost something and the land has gone 

              feral. I know how to make more 

                             of less– I have seen the act 

of nature choking on its own 

               overgrowth. A drowning inside 

                            this tinning brokenness, a want, 

sulfur-yellow, bird-quiet. I love 

               the same kinds of slander 

                                myself. The smooth earth 

unmarked for years. My own body missing 

               something too. No. It has nothing 

                                to do with me. When left 

to my own devices: a still soil poisoned, 

                                barren. A field full of fledglings 

rotting into the silt. When I walk my footprints fill 

               with coin-colored water. The wilted buds 

                              on a graying branch curl in 

like a child’s sleeping fist. I am mistaken 

                               as another kind of quieting,

an algae-laced lake gone green again,

                nothing notices. One duck, mid-lake, 

                               preening grime from its feathers. 

Doesn’t startle at all.