BEFORE THE HARD FROST FALLS
in late September, she’s creating a plot
for spring planting, has cleared the grass,
laid down cardboard to encourage worms
to soften the hard clay, added lawn clippings,
mulch, a layer of fresh soil on top. Tired
but feeling that sense of accomplishment
that comes from imagining an outcome,
watching it appear from your own hands,
she moves to the edge of the field
to plant Joe Pye Weed we brought back
from Cape Cod. Part of a long-term vision
for the unruly yard that came with the house.
I think of times passed and what lies ahead,
days sliding into weeks to months. Winter
soon upon us and her activities will turn
outside in to sewing projects, daily yoga,
and together we will watch the world creak
along from one troubled spot to the next.
Marc Swan lives in coastal Maine. His poems have recently been published in Gargoyle, Crannóg, The Nashwaak Review, and Speckled Trout Review, among others. Tall-lighthouse press in London, England published two earlier collections: In a Distinct Minor Key (2007) and Simple Distraction (2009). In 2018, Sheila-Na-Gig Editions published today can take your breath away. His latest collection, all it would take, was published by Tall-lighthouse in 2020.