Hunky British gardeners! Where’s the sizzle in garden magazines, anyway? Gardening is such a deliciously dirty and sweaty activity anyway, so come on–let’s see some muscles and some curves! Show us your freckles! Peel me a grape! Between the overripe berries, the outdoor showers, the droning of the bees, the wisteria-covered arbor at sunset–are we really going to pretend that gardening is not an inherently lascivious activity?
Actually, in that spirit, I’m going to share a poem I wrote many years ago when I was quite a bit more focused on poetry than I am now:
Embarrassment of Riches
Harvesting asparagus: no job for a man.
You blush at the engorged purple heads that push
through the mulch and grow to a respected ten inches.
I take the shears and slice off twelve for the steamer.
The fastest growing vegetable, asparagus
so common that we eat it as a midnight snack.
“We’re out of recipes,” you laugh, eyes wide
at the latest crop, running out in your bare feet
to pick a lemon for the sauce. “Enough
with the vegetables,” the neighbors groan
endless sacks of ripe tomatoes at their doors,
driving with the windows up for fear someone will
force a zucchini in. Another shipment of seeds.
You and I plant frantic rows, circles, clumps.
There are twenty five flowering vines in the catalog
and we have to choose, fighting tendrils in our sleep