Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The way he would have his grammar, the subjunctive
mood he did not learn in school, Claude studies this
garden that will not be, the fact of it

a thick patch of grass that needs cutting,
the fig bush and pear tree. The lettuces
should have gone in first; dark ruffles of kale,

then the peas and beans, the better boys. You could still
plant a gourd or two; you know how to manipulate

a neck so that it becomes straightest handle—
its emptiness for dipping water or feed. And you
linger over the picture of a cotton boll—

one slim envelope of seed you could still order.
Because you don’t know when you won’t be able
to get to town, and you could need to pack a tooth, after all.  

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