Before I could muster
The lettuce for the refrigerator
I washed the outer leaves
Between a spray of water
& the minutiae of my
Boy fingers – thwacking it
On the bench for the sensation
Of its ribbed-heart – quite hard.
I stood in my underpants on colt
Legs aware of all this growth both
Animal, mineral – & the splaying
Of vegetable. I could easily have
Mangled the process.
Apart from the constant hurricane
Of lettuce there is the digging. From
Time to time there is the re-jigging
Of autumn to winter & the freezing
Of dill from the high sunshine of
Summer. He dug holes to the middle
Of the world while I stood in the zoology
Of my bones waiting for one hug –
Something to fall over my collar.
My rangy frame. None came.
I remember him repairing a radio
That was broke of its static with its
Ditties & munted batteries. The dial
The tuner the volume switch – all
Under his stoic fingers & me knocking
A screw down to the garage floor by
Mishap – the size of a half-ant & the pitch
Of his voice lost of bulletins concerts –
& the melancholy of his heart.
A regular pain in the arse.