I pluck good leaves from cellophane,
the ceraceous leather of baby spinach
failing to slime, wetting the bag.
I try to remember farming.
Wet earth under my nails, worms not far below.
Critters guard livestock, all accustomed
to the tractor hum. Sheep wait to be shorn.
The tulip poplar out front blooms each spring,
more brown each year, the pine taller, the creek
more shallow, the drive redone six times since he’s gone.
Can I scratch a half-memory, still call it home?
Love a man only in pictures.
Take this quiet waxy amber, hardening
in my lymph nodes, polish polish
polish until it glints clean topaz.