Song for the Pumpkins

Originally published May 27, 2014

Song for the Pumpkins

We could pretend that the word prosaic

is a portmanteau of prose and mosaic–

a series of broken stories arranged just so

     to make art.

But I confess I do not find the way

you leave the bathroom

splattered in beard-hair

after your weekly shave

–as if your razors were a machine gun scatting bullets–

particularly arresting.

Nor do I find your habit of chewing-gum,

thrashing, and snoring,

usually at the same time, usually as soon as I fall asleep,

endearing.

I reach over to shake you awake as if breaking you

from a seizure.

Awake, I don’t tell you that I dreamt I knew

what love was,

that it’s when you want everyone else to think

you’re a decent human being,

except for that one person who knows

you’re terrible and great,

who knows that you are King David

with his harp and his murder.

That made me worry.

But this is a song for the pumpkins,

and not for anxiety,

because they deserve recognition,

each a small, bumpy world for the aphids.

This is a song for the pumpkins you made

by tilling the earth and laughing,

despite the floods, the weeds, the sun.

This is a song

for the pumpkins, growing under your care

not breaking, or dreaming, or turning into shrapnel.

At night, I swear I can hear them breathing.