Poem by Patricia Trentacoste
in a parallelogram of sunshine beyond a breezeway window
ten barefoot steps from a small kitchen’s small sink
grows a well-staked garden under some rabbit proof mesh
not far from where an old hose seeps over moss-covered flagstones
raised from seed and tidied by fussing fingers and a Mother’s wooden-handled spade,
the plants come of age, jostling in their cribs and cracking the pottery
coiling with ringlets, feral interests, squash blossoms, and green hairy stems, they are no longer the grower’s nurslings and have questions:
why do we belong in this gardener’s dream?
why not someone else’s?
someone for whom a handful of berries might fill a plate too long empty
slake a hunger, borne forever
kale, squash, dill-weed, beets, peppers, parsley, basil and butter beans
leafy foods in every color, how can there not be enough for every plate?
i have no answers, she tells them, then savoring the bounty, wishing she could do more, the gardener fills her bowl to the brim, and after sating her hunger, scrapes the leftovers into the compost bin and reties the garden stakes because there are hungry rabbits too
After decades of teaching literature and philosophy, Patricia now lives in Northern Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes area in a cradle of sky, water and trees, where she writes and makes art about people in relation to their habitats. Past publications include small press literary journals; academic philosophy forums, Women’s Day Magazine, and a feature column for a tri-county paper.
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The poems that follow are powerful evidence that Poetry Speaks Back to Hunger!