I was going to write about the August garden for today, but it has rained here for the past 5,000 years and the August garden is a mudpit of shame and despair, so instead, have this poem I just discovered in a computer file, in honor of the plastic dinosaur my husband unearthed in the back yard a few weeks ago:




Back then, the yard was pocked

With mammoth footprints, fossils, bones

Always a step beyond reach

Of the plastic shovel

Churning turf and soil.


Summer stretched catlike across the valley,

Somnolent as wings frozen in amber,

While live insects prickled heat to sound

And imagination did not falter

At the blue sky’s edge.


The gyre of seasons warps the weft,

Clogs the birdbath with leaves,

Sends sharp shoots lancing through

Massed bulbs of peonies

Along the fencerow.


When it rains, the past works up

Like a splinter through red clay,

The trowel catching on

A plastic hadrosaur, household god

Of a lost nation.