By Sandy Coomer
I want to see something small – a pumpkin seed
in the beak of a crow, an accidental release
and a turning of soil. A sprout – pale green. A leaf,
an anchoring tendril. A floppy yellow flower and bees.
I’m willing to stand in pine straw and listen to bullfrogs
groan as they crouch by a pond encumbered with string
algae. There’s so little space allowed for the untamed.
A rogue pumpkin vine stretches to the fence, curves
under oak leaf hydrangeas, reappears with an orb
of green swollen with carotenoids firing in the sun.
The garden becomes an altar to orange, the tangled
vine, a labyrinth of questions: How? When? Why?
Sometimes I’m shadowed by the state of this world,
its dark edges, its darker heart. What good I try to do
is casually undone by jaded voices speaking careless words.
Forgive me, but sometimes I tire of weeping.
Oh, let me have my fleshy rind, my fearless, porous stalk.
Let me follow the breath of dragonflies, the toeprints
of salamanders, the box turtle’s gameboard shell. There’s
little enough reward for wishes and love’s too often washed
with spit. I struggle with the weight of the largest pumpkin,
marvel at its beautiful heft. There are six now, squatting
like wayward gifts. It takes something simple, unexpected,
something that proves its place by arriving uninvited,
by daring to be seen between the dogwood and coneflowers.
I want to see a harvest rising from the rubbish. I want
to hold it in my hands as proof there are small things
that have no business growing, but they grow anyway.
Sandy Coomer is a poet, artist, Ironman athlete, and social entrepreneur from Nashville, TN. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks and a full-length collection, Available Light (Iris Press). Sandy is a poetry mentor in the AWP Writer to Writer Mentorship Program and the founding editor of the online poetry journal Rockvale Review. She is the founder and director of Rockvale Writers’ Colony in College Grove, TN. Her favorite word is “believe.”