Solarization For the…


For the first time in two weeks,
I wake up feeling strong. Rested,
with muscles that want to push
themselves out of bed, stretch
to their full extension. Today,
I will work in the garden. Pull
dandelion and dayflower weeds,
dig burdock, down to the stubborn
taproot. I'll spread clear plastic
and weight it down with bricks,
setting the sun to work, solarizing
the weeds beneath. Six weeks
will ready it for fall planting, for
spinach and chard, lettuce and kale.

Tomorrow is chemo. Six weeks
to go. Tomorrow will set a fire
that will burn through my body,
building to exhaustion, so I wake
only to close my eyes and sleep
again. Cancer is a field of weeds,
and while the battle rages, the
battleground takes a battering.

Six weeks is a long time for ground
to lie unused. All around, other beds
throw off rich harvests. Tomatoes
ripen, peppers bud, the peach tree
has grown heavy with fuzzy fruit.

Still, have faith. This bed will come
to its time again. And maybe, in
some strange ways we cannot yet
predict, will be richer, stronger,
for the long fallow stretch. By fall,
we will be ready to plant again.
Spinach and chard, lettuce and kale.

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