Tuesday, December 26, 2006


In your extended absence, you permit me
use of earth, anticipating
some return on investment. I must report
failure in my assignment, principally
regarding the tomato plants.
I think I should not be encouraged to grow
tomatoes. Or, if I am, you should withhold
the heavy rains, the cold nights that come
so often here, while other regions get
twelve weeks of summer. All this
belongs to you: on the other hand,
I planted the seeds, I watched the first shoots
like wings tearing the soil, and it was my heart
broken by the blight, the black spot so quickly
multiplying in the rows. I doubt
you have a heart, in our understanding of
that term. You who do not discriminate
between the dead and the living, who are, in consequence,
immune to foreshadowing, you may not know
how much terror we bear, the spotted leaf,
the red leaves of the maple falling
even in August, in early darkness: I am responsible
for these vines.

-- Louise Gl├╝ck


early hours of sky said...

I love this poem---hope your holiday was wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I've come back to read and read this.

The last line resounds.

As does the poem's restrained anger.

And god, those first shoots tearing the soil like wings.

Ah, Louise.

She breaks my heart then hands the pieces back to me and shows me how beautiful and terribly sharp they are.

Suzanne said...

T, I had a lovely holiday and am still having a lovely holiday. I hope yours was wonderful too.

Glad you enjoyed.Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

What a great poem.