by Dianne Stepp

After the cosmos grabs a toehold
in the herb bed,
flaunts its gaudy colors,
snatching all the light to itself,
I am ready to lop it back.
But you, my sweet,
always prone to a pretty face,
point out the honey bees,
the ruby-throated hummers
buzzing the raffish blooms.

My old prophet of Live and Let Live—
just look at this yard.
Mint choking iris, sword ferns
dueling with azaleas.
“After all,” you say,
“the cosmos is so vigorous,
so slap-dash—besides
you planted it.”
And so
I sheathe my shears.

come winter,
when its spotty corpse slumps
on top of the wan remains
of the thyme, I think
of the meek of the earth.
I fetch the clippers.

I unwrap the honing stone.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 23, Issue 4.

A retired counselor, Dianne Stepp lives with her husband in Portland, Oregon. Her poems have appeared in a variety of literary journals and anthologies including High Desert Journal,, Comstock Review, Clackamas Literary Review, and Cries of the Spirit. A graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program in Poetry, she is a recipient of an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship and author of a chapbook, “Half-Moon of Clay.”

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