A poem by Madeline DeFrees
Into my ravaged garden as into the tattered
cocoon of the season
I walk in mud-caked shoes, stalking the last
the bolting bitter lettuce,
tomatoes defiantly green on the vine,
and bony zucchini.
None of us wants to go back
to the worm-riddled earth we sprang from.
Already a lachrymose wind
grieves over the ground of our being. And who,
when scarlet letters
flutter in air from sumac and maple,
will be there to
receive them? Only a sigh
on the wind in the land of bending willow
attending the frost and snow
as they spread a weedy cover. Or a furrow's trace
on the fallow bed where rain
describes a river: the waters of oblivion
I follow crossing over.
— Madeline DeFrees' "Blue Dusk: New and Selected Poems, 1951-2001" (Copper Canyon Press)