This Is Not the Time for a Garden Poem

The irises are over.
My neighbor is severing
unwanted branches
from a shrub while I allow
myself to be overtaken
by whatever wants to grow.
One yellow butterfly,
not enough bees. How
can I tell emergency
from celebration
as sirens circle?
Dandelion, violet, cede
their patches to clover.
The hydrangea
looks promising
but promises what?
I practice scrying
into a gazing ball,
see nothing.
This is not the time
for a garden poem
and it is all I have.
When my neighbor
stacks the branches
for removal, I will take
the best of them,
slice rounds to mark
with runes.
His Rose of Sharon
has seeded our border
with an unrequited hedge.
There is nothing here
that doesn’t belong.
A volunteer mulberry.
Sudden lilies from
a chipmunk’s hoard.
I don’t want after
to look just like before.


M.A. Scott’s poetry has recently appeared in Sugar House Review, Pretty Owl Poetry, Heron Tree, and The Mid-American Review. She grew up in Rhode Island and currently lives in New York’s Hudson Valley where she likes to spend time with trees.

Crystal Ball illustration by C.B. Auder.

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