The night in Perry Park
is darker
than the 10 x 12 post office,
a window box geranium and the
lazy Lab in the street.

Mom does and does not
want “perpetual upkeep.”
Her pruning shears filed,
her clippers sharp,
for ivy and other creepers.

Seen from a car window
my stomach full of curves
needs a grape soda to settle
Route 22 to Gratz
a road that drops into the river.

Bearded irises, peonies and ramblers
In mayonnaise jars
wrapped in foil
We stop in Frankfort, Squiresville,
Salem, then Webster Springs

We pick through the graves
Like harvesters,
weeding out the fox tail, the dead nettle
asking strangers
“Who do you have here?”