The Woman Next Door Burning Her Garden

She wants to see flowers
turn to light. One by one
they blaze and disappear,
tiny flags of flame
above a village, waving,
while children stand beside
a ditch, watching the camera.

She stands back, one hand raised
to shield her face. She says
ashes make the best soil next spring.
He isn’t coming home.
I want to throw myself in
with the rows of tomatoes, and burn.

(Ken Zimmerman 1977) (previously appeared in Quarry West)

Share This