April

I’ve long had to be the responsible one:
oldest child, wife, mother.
Now I catch myself casting shadows
over all the young plants, even as year after year
they prove themselves to be true.
The season doesn’t know what it wants.
It would turn back the clock if it could, and not come out.
It’s suspicious of celebration; a jealous god might overhear.

Once we thought we’d conquer the world,
but no one wanted to do the planning.
Another year is gone; the children will grow up.
But they are still small, and we not yet old.
What use is the struggle?

Always, the summer comes, with idleness and sweat.
Always, I end up embracing it, despite
its numbered days, its intentions.

The plot fails every time. Why did I work so hard?
I always end up alone
in wanting the end of things: flowers, tomatoes,
perfection, the profusion of hours, as the waiting,
the counting down, become the loss itself.

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