A NEW GETHSEMANE
Following Candide’s advice,
I cultivated my own garden
in rich black humus that was
as soft and as cool as the
earthworms that churned there.
I became a messiah
to the strawberry plants –
the expected deliverer of the fruit.
Day after day, I worried over them,
as if they had mortal souls to save.
They strayed from the righteous path and
climbed into the beans, tomatoes, and corn.
They were not interested in possibilities,
but wanted only to live for the here and now.
I absolved those murderous strawberry
plants that strangled the delicate snow
peas standing innocently in their way -
strangled them until their blossoms lay
white upon the ground like translucent
eyelids cut from tiny alien corpses.
Beyond tired, I would sit under
the tulip tree at night to rest.
I would try to forget the
strawberry plants for a while.
But always, looking toward
the garden, I felt restless -
as if I were about to be betrayed.