“Feeding the Dead” by Sherman Pearl

Sherman Pearl


More water more Miracle-Gro
turn the topsoil to free the worms
that help the roots breathe
these wilted petals and shriveled stems
will soon come around
turn back to green
rise from their beds like the ideals
that colored our days
and perfumed our seasons
and died
leaving their withered remains
to wave in the wind
like whispers of certainties
they’re coming around
the hose gives them life-like looks
shiny with redemption
and stirred by the force of the spray
their faces resemble
the wizened philosophers
flower-age heroes who promised
to come back when we needed them
I need them now
that the garden is choked
by devious weeds dressed as flowers
but the flowers that fed me
are coming up
round and redolent
to reproach me for thinking that
truth is dead and death is permanent.

from Rattle #23, Summer 2005

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