My father’s yard is his gospel to the world.
All green, cut and tamed, like a circus lion
he’d put his head into every hot day in July.
When he’d feel nostalgic, which was more often
than he’d let on, he’d mention his father, how
he was sustainable before the word ever took to seed.
He had a compost and vegetable garden that dared you
to throw half away in its abundance. Sometimes,
he’d tell stories of his father’s purchasing habits
at the local nursery, greeted by the owner
with new stock and exclusive varieties.
I could see those memories flicker, projected
on the inside of his eyes as we stood making
small talk in the driveway before I left for college.
“Looks great this year,” I’d say, but he wouldn’t
hear me through all the years, and
his father’s thick hedgerows.