held askew by beans

you like to see a little dishabille in me
and i can give you this —
i know how it’s done.
i like a little dishabille in the garden, myself.
sunflowers blooming in twenty directions, giant
stalks tipped sprawling and prickly across the path.
tomatoes vining up all over,
whether we planted them there or not.
corn standing tall and rustling in its rows,
each stalk’s bent leaves interfering with the next.
bean vines simply everywhere.
you can’t move a stem out of the way,
for they’re all held askew by beans.
between and among it all, the volunteer lettuce,
lambsquarter, sunberries, ground cherries,
and here, a surprise onion.
beside, a mess of chard, itself
in its second year, vining
and tossing seed stems about.
no wonder, then, for seed pods in my
straggling hair, itself snarled and tangled,
with bean vines and the occasional sunflower petal,
or dirt beading the sweat that beads my back,
scratched and often a little sore
from the bent work of taking care.
if i’m a little excessive, a little messy,
even vining in my habits, it’s only this:
each long summer spent
as much as i can
making life, and tending it.
and mirroring, as best i can,
its sprawling enthusiasm.

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