I open a book of poetry looking for a phrase

or line, or just a word, inspiration 

for this poem today. An hour in the garden

before the morning sun starts to burn, 

my break brings me here, 

my laptop ever waiting, ever ready. 

I find a phrase that catches, then 

I get lost in reading the poem,

forgetting why the phrase caught. 

I remember I forgot to spread lime, 

so I’ll need to get the tiller out again. 

Again I’ll wade the spaces between the various berries

and asparagus, spreading the lime, tilling it in, 

spreading white clover seeds—for the bees— 

walking the seeds in, spreading straw, 

some cover for the seedlings as they sprout. 

The next time I wade in

I’ll be picking blackberries.



Title is first line of poem “River” by Davis McCombs’ Ultima Thule, 2000.