John Glowney

This wreckage, the harvest
by John Glowney

My god, she says I don’t know what possesses you
to say such things. I don’t what you’re thinking.

She doesn’t really want to know any more
then she wants to know what makes the wind

whip lawn clippings and thistle-down
into the wet November air to stick on her new car

or why winter muscles its way into the little vegetable garden
I planted last spring and then ignored all summer

and into late fall, leaving its rows of over-ripe carrots
and radishes crowded together underground

like commuters on a stalled subway train, the blasted stalks
and leaves turning dry and brittle, perhaps a few potatoes

salvageable, buried in the cold black dirt
like the soul of an old woman that rests

pure and luminous within her ruined body.
It’s her impatience with me that makes her cross,

here in the parking lot of Whole Foods
where we have gone to buy certified organic broccoli

and asparagus, her salted almonds and her ice cream,
and eggs to boil. I’m adrift, she’s afraid,

into the early stages of retirement, faltering
into a scramble of old jokes and annoying habits, stories

repeated, that she’s going to have to deal with.
I could go out one afternoon this week

while she’s at work, and dig up those few potatoes,
and see if anything can be done with the carrots

and radishes, what I can yet make of them. But I won’t.
Spring, summer and now the season of corruption and rot

is the order of things; whatever is spoiled, what’s left-over,
ashes, debris, rubble, dross, whatever remains.


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

John GlowneyJohn Glowney is a graduate of the University of Michigan. His poems have appeared in, among others: Shenandoah; 32 Poems; Iron Horse; Juxtaprose; Tar River Poetry; The American Journal of Poetry; Crab Orchard Review; ZYZZYZA; River Styx; Green Mountains Review; Connecticut Review; Southeast Review; Alaska Quarterly Review; Nimrod, Mid-American Review, Northwest Review; Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry Northwest.

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