by Angela Patten
The road to your new apartment
over a barn at the end of a dirt road
is a quagmire now in early Spring.
Two decades since the road was graded,
and the ruts are a foot deep.
We park the car, hike the last mile in.
Water everywhere, more rain predicted.
Woods are burgeoning, birds singing,
small buds exploding like grenades.
All this interminable greenery,
perfect breeding-ground for blackflies,
ticks, the horrors of Lyme disease.
Even the pond is alive,
tadpoles wiggling their tails
like eager spermatozoa.
You talk about hollyhocks, roses,
sweet peas, runner beans.
Thrust your hands into the soil.
Goodbye condominium —
you’re growing things again.
So busy thinking about art and beauty
you’ll forget to eat. And after a while
you won’t even notice the hillside
full of rusting cars that leads
to your new digs. You’re imagining
a house, a pond, a future together.
I’m busy setting my heart against you,
eyeing the path that leads out
of the woods, plotting my escape.
Still your red beard reminds me
of a fox’s brush and I like the way
your eyes turn color in the changing light.
I even like your hare-brained visions,
your preference for plants over people.
Maybe I’ll stick around through Mud Season
just to see how it all works out.