in the garden

i did not plant tomatoes this summer; i think this is what disturbs me the most.
steaming hot, fresh from the garden – from my hand – there were no
     sweet tart rounds to offer you.
these ninety days marked a darkness of soul, a peculiarity in spirit entwined
     by weedy roots that conquered the raised bed.
now i may not forage to find sun, wind, rain, soil contained in an imperfect late season

i’m guilty of non-planting.

i await my sentence.
a holy requirement willfully ignored deprived us of our expected
     caprese and fried greens –

i am to blame.
heirlooms – glorious in rainbows – did not stretch out branches.
     no cherries or grapes
          to pop
     in the children’s mouths 
     they visited.
a wondering wandering spring gave way to narrow doubt and clouded vision.

                         i failed.
this nightshade is not malleable – smashed to the floor, a bruise, a burst – unhealed,
water soaked days and the fruit may have proved plump and pleasurable.
     no keeping corner for the unrooted – is it lost if i never had it?
i have burgled time of its rightful offspring,
                         too late thoughts require absolution that will
     never come.

Laura Johnson is poet in Eastern Iowa who serves as a co-editor of the online literary journal Backchannels. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa. Laura participates in performance poetry and leads writing workshops in her community. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rosebud, High Shelf Press, Prompt Press, and First Literary Review-East.