The DMQ Review

Bob Dornberg © 2003

For the Gardener

nothing must go to waste — not the stones
not the maggots in the manure pile
even the grubs and earwigs must labor to be beautiful

so you can offer them to the fish and the birds
as you have offered the rose to the sawfly
the corn and tomatoes to the earworms and the hornworms

not that you meant to do it
the point is that everything must nourish something
to that end you serve them all

the gypsy moth larvae crunching the maples overhead
the green aphids under the rosebuds clustered like moss
understand that the garden is the whole world

there is nothing you can do about it
each spring you will begin again visualizing the blossom uneaten
palms that blister on the spade and the stubbornness of roots

for the garden exists first in the imagination
hold the spicy smell of autumnal maples carefully in your head—
you see? already under the carpet of leaves worms feed on the dead

Claire Fanger
Copyright © 2003

Claire Fanger is a medievalist and independent scholar and author of a number of articles on medieval religion, literature and magic that have appeared in scholarly books and journals. She also has a long standing interest in the writing of poetry (obtaining an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University in the mid-1980's) though she has only recently begun to publish any of it. Her work is forthcoming in the Beloit Poetry Journal. She is a keen gardener.

Contents            Next Poem           Guidelines