July 20, 2006

Ontogeny: Cradle to Grave

Out in the garden at sunrise, I am
counting small green tomatoes, rosy
gourds, yellow beans and hot peppers
in their carefully crafted straight rows,
accompanied as always in my slow counting
by flocks of attending sparrows and
this summer's brood of bronze starlings
with their gimlet eyes, cocked heads
and curious canny expressions.

Cacophonies of rude young jays and
crows are dancing somewhere up
above me in the ash tree and greeting
the day in their own raspy fashion.

There's a honeyed light over everything
this morning, on this slow green harvest
which is turning red and sweet and juicy
by the sun's light and in its own good time,
light on the leaves and flowers, light on
the seeds still to quicken and be fruit,
on the feathered progeny of last spring's
ardent impetuous couplings who are
making a splendid sticky adolescent noise.

Will I be here next year in summer, wearing
this same shape and at this same time?
Does that really matter in any way, big
or small, in the general scheme of things?
I shall certainly be hanging around in some
form or other, perhaps just as compost.