Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Tomatoes don't really bother me that much. Mine always grow, though I may end up with more pickled green ones than reds for salads by the end of the season. Where I've been finding disappointment lately has been with the so-called hardy "native" plants.

Three years back, I planted lupines and they never came up. My thyme and mint both disappeared last year. Then there was the year of the one, anemic zucchini. The biggest frustration to date, though, has to be the strawberries. A couple years back, I planted three runners which, to my delight, turned into about 50 plants. Given how productive the three little originals were, I'd figured that by the next season, there'd be enough berries to make at least a few pots of jam. No such luck, as, though I got lots of lush greenery, not a single flower appeared.

Maybe this year will be better.

Vespers

In your extended absence, you permit me
use of earth, anticipating
some return on investment. I must report
failure in my assignment, principally
regarding the tomato plants.
I think I should not be encouraged to grow
tomatoes. Or, if I am, you should withhold
the heavy rains, the cold nights that come
so often here, while other regions get
twelve weeks of summer. All this
belongs to you: on the other hand,
I planted the seeds, I watched the first shoots
like wings tearing the soil, and it was my heart
broken by the blight, the black spot so quickly
multiplying in the rows. I doubt
you have a heart, in our understanding of
that term. You who do not discriminate
between the dead and the living, who are, in consequence,
immune to foreshadowing, you may not know
how much terror we bear, the spotted leaf,
the red leaves of the maple falling
even in August, in early darkness: I am responsible
for these vines.

-Louise Gl├╝ck

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