Where the Seed Scattered

She took us through dense rows out back
where fennel spurted lavish through the ground—

branched green tendrils now hardening to husks
amid long growth of asparagus. Inside round

shells no bigger than my thumb, next season’s
growth waited to root in layers above the clay.

Beneath the pear trees, in the grass, wasps
buzzed in drunken stupor: the body in decay

still giving of its sugar, its thick and milky sap
before composting into soil. Nearby, the flames

of peppers gashed the undersides of leaves: trapped
heat of bird chilies, the smoky mildness of shishitos.

She said it was the only way she’d ever planted:
allowing what fell, to fall where it would.


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