Friday, October 01, 2010



If melancholy had a home, it would be
A garden in October when frost has picked
The last tomatoes and pinched the peppers free.
I wandered such a place one day; I kicked
Through rotting tangled vines of cucumber
And broken pods of okra, broccoli plants
With stems like trees, and quiet as in slumber,
Two grapes winding up a fence. My glance,
However, fixed at lst on a bed filled

With tall asparagus wholly gone to seed:
Like Christmas trees they stood, their bulbs spilled
Beneath to settle in the earth, freed
For next year's growth. It was a fine bed
(I guessed it at five seasons) showing good care,
And more, restraint. Asparagus is better bred
With patience; the grower's cutting hand must spare
Emough green shoots to drive the crop to come.
He knows each year brings more if he holds
His urge to gather early, leaving some
To infuse the soil with life, for life folds
Into life. I have seen men swallow dreams
From tasting too much extravagance, consuming thus
Too much too soon, and failing, so it seems,
To savor the wisdom in asparagus.
- Bruce Jacobs

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