Graduation

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carrots lettuce broccoli
in packets that shake like
rattles, dry seeds, dormant
waiting for the right light
and water, flowing
around them in soil’s
embrace. One by one
I tuck them in and
fold over the coarse black
blanket, leaving them to

sink in their roots
tiny tendrils that will grow
and spread, tapping into
the dust to which I will
return one day.

I will water them,
my little vegetables
pluck their leaves
and pull up the
first fruit of my labor of
love together with
my husband sunlight
my wife the earth.

but something small and sad
in me stirs when I
peer into the future fall
knowing how soon
I will pull up my roots
to penetrate
strange soil with them
the final harvest here will happen
without me

so I leave these little plants to
the man and woman who
planted me
trusting them to weed and wield
the garden hose so that
my seeds might flourish

they will do the same with me—
their eldest sapling
letting me leave this zone
on the seed packet for the one
below where carrots lettuce broccoli
can safely germinate beginning
in March instead of April





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