as if they are mammoth ones, end-alls, crucial
and critical pieces of a whole life.
I’ve been potting the aloe plants in the rain
in the deep desert winter,
out walking my 13-pound honey colored dog
early in the morning before work, walking past
the giant palm trees and the black crows
flying high over us in tandem, soaring with the wind,
heading for the mountains covered with snow.
And I am planning what is next on paper,
a sketch of what to grow next in my little garden,
calendula for healing, the yellow flower heads
look like little suns early in the morning.
And I add orange nasturtiums, the petals fiery with
passion. My dog and I collect the flower petals when
they fall and we save them in cups so we can throw them
out over the sand and the wild grass when we are walking.
I think this will help me celebrate abundance
when it comes my way. My dog leaps alongside me at midday
as we walk along the canyon’s edge. I try to imitate
her because it looks like an act of pure happiness.
We grow older together practicing the same
acts of happiness I’ve always known how to keep an eye
out for. Walking and smiling. A gay woman in a life
without a partner, working part time jobs, reading novels
and drawing pictures of my garden, #2 pencils in hand,
in the picture are sunflowers taller than I imagined
they could be. In the garden, I’m planning for more,
small violets, pure purple petals, a deeper color than last
years. Soon there will be more.
Sunflowers the color of the moon.
Charlene Langfur is an an organic gardener, a rescued dog advocate, and a Syracuse University Graduate Writing Fellowship. Her most recent publications include a series of poems in TIGER MOTH, POETRY LEAVES, GYROSCOPE and forthcoming a series of poems in WEBER-THE CONTEMPORARY WEST and EMERYS.