Brian Simoneau

Working the Garden,
by Brian Simoneau

for Kate

Today I’ve been remembering

summer squash; strawberries

ripening; cucumber vines

wound through chicken wire

the way life and its absence are

threaded between lines of a poem;

apples proving gravity’s

gentle tug, the constant pull

of an underworld shrouded

in the aroma of loam, limbs

lifting back into place, relieved

of their cumbersome load;

and you, mending a hole

in the fence, the guilty bear

not even hiding. She peered

over tall grass, lifted her chin

as if laughing, amused

you’d be fixing what she’ll wreck

again, bemused you haven’t

given up, haven’t let yourself

believe in wastes of time.

I watched you patch it together

lovingly, line by wire line

like a story told and retold

until only a character’s name

stays the same. The hardest part’s

knowing no animal, not one

of us, will ever learn to be

content with the fruit

shaken loose from the branches

that stretch beyond a fence.

Later we spoke in voices hushed

by the summer night until all

that remained was wind

in Douglas-firs, the river’s

not-so-distant roar: sounds

we learn to call silence,

a word I still can’t bring

myself to believe in.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 14, Issue 2.

Brian SimoneauBrian Simoneau’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boulevard, Cave Wall, The Collagist, Crab Orchard Review, DIAGRAM, North American Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Waccamaw, and elsewhere. His work also appears in Two Weeks: A Digital Anthology of Contemporary Poetry. He lives in Boston with his wife and daughters.

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