Winter garden

Winter garden

Below the rusty-brown, mildewed compost
of autumn, the earth is an umber-tinctured yolk.
Root vegetables grow like stalactites
in a cool, dark cavern with sheaves of minerals.
A radish blooms like a ruby, below
the long-dry herb beds of summer. Turnips
turn to quartz, beets become blood-colored
garnets, and Jerusalem artichokes
change into semiprecious sandstones,
lovely as polished opal. I pull
my hoe and dig, a pickax mining these roots,
loosening this earth of winter fruit and poetry.

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