I need to toss autumn’s faded petals
onto the compost heap—
the compilation of last spring’s dreams,
the unconsumed fruits
of summer’s lost labors,
and all the untidy bits
of frost’s premature appearance.
The rusted tines of a once-green
garden rake attacks weedy debris,
maple leaves, sweet-gum balls
and tangles of unruly twists of tomato vines
that are all that remain of the garden’s plot.
Gone the heady abundance of sunflowers,
daisies dancing in the midst of dahlias,
the variegated mint, the pungent purple sage,
the self-sown bounty of cilantro.
The humus of garden existence
fuels hope for future harvests.
The chill of a northern wind, the hint of rain
makes it plain, days are short:
decomposition slows to its winter crawl.
Garden catalogs litter the mailbox,
pile up on desktops,
fodder for another spring
of extravagant expectations…
c. Darlene Moore Berg