Lee Potts

The Poet’s Garden, 1888, Vincent van Gogh

Every green thing’s name

During every autumn’s
damp, incoherent days
you ordered more seeds
than you could ever plant.
They came in stiff
paper packets and rattled
like desiccated songs.
You laid them out after
dinner and tried to see into
the next summer with a tarot
of petals, stems, thorns, and leaves.

Winter turned the kitchen
into a tabernacle closed around
those dark hours, keeping
them hidden and apart.
Death soaked in like grey rain
and rust off the shed’s steel roof.
You saw that one final
spring and just a bit of summer.
The weeds set in fast.
A garden never stays a garden.

Lee Potts is the author of the chapbook And Drought Will Follow and is poetry editor at Barren Magazine. His work has appeared in Rust + Moth, Whale Road Review, UCity Review, Parentheses Journal, Firmament, Moist Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. He lives just outside of Philadelphia. He’s @LeePottsPoet on Twitter.

Next poem

Previous poem

Spring 2022