Agriculture Has Come to This

By William Doreski

Watering my zinnia sprouts
in judgmental glare, I sweat
with fear of future tornados, 
politics, tick disease, drought.

Scholars of the dark warn us
that indigo horizons have warped
and shed disgruntled species.
Scholars of noon warn that cold

seeps from the marrow to blame us
for evolving with such arrogance,
two-legged in a cringing world.
Who thought that elbowing us

with pear-shaped thinking could solve
the crumble of soil that retorts
with confidence and dismissal?
Watering sprouts hardly responds

to the ghost-hands pawing through
my garden every night, feeling
the feeblest pulse and stroking
every leaf into glad submission.

I shouldn’t bother imposing
myself on floral expressions.
I should allow occasional rain 
to have its way with gendered

flower parts bared for a purpose
other than bees and butterflies.
Childhood on the farm misled me
in factors of summer spectrums.

In the next life I’ll rain myself
instead of blaming the cloudy light
that exposes every open pore
to every homeless demon.


William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He has taught at several colleges and universities. His most recent book of poetry is Mist in Their Eyes (2021). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in various journals.

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