Originally Published April 22, 2017
Certainly worth a revisit
Each spring, encinos unravel
their festoon of catkins, toss
them to the wind that carries
their seeds over the fence our past
pieced together. Go with God, she whispers
as the pollen drifts from her branches.
Crabgrass creeps beneath the boards
and mingles with the carpet blades,
sucks dry the soil you water
in your crepuscular ritual. You can’t stop
the dandelions from peeking up
their yellow faces in your bed
of sprouts. You curse them
as they burst into florets
of snow, pop their downy heads
above the earthen sheets.
Mesquites, too, uncurl
from the earth and escape
from the monte to our Eden.
One sneaks in, a tiny bean
pod tucked into the pocket
of a child who hasn’t learned
that in this yard, that’s a weed
and doesn’t belong. This lawn,
this carpet of roots and blooms
welcomes with its open palm the limon tree
for her starry blossoms, a vine of jasmine
to cover up the wound. You populate
the patio with palm trees, immigrants
that stumbled down to the Rio Grande
in the thirties when the sweat ran dry.
In the garden, you grow sprigs of cilantro,
serrano, a row of lettuce, two tomato plants
to cling to your trestle –
and just one single encino for the afternoon
shade. You rake and rake the acorns
in autumn, toss them over the fence
into the dusty rancho on the other side.
First appeared in Conte: Journal of Narrative Writing
Author: Katie Hoerth
Katherine Hoerth is the author of four poetry books. Her most recent, Goddess Wears Cowboy Boots (Lamar University Literary Press, 2014) won the Helen C. Smith Prize from the Texas Institute of Letters for the best book of poetry. Her work has been published in journals including Texas Poetry Calendar, Concho River Review, and Mezzo Cammin: A Journal of Formal Poetry by Women. She teaches writing at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and serves as poetry editor of Amarillo Bay and Devilfish Review. Katherine lives in Edinburg.