The Vegetable Gods
In my garden, there are lambs
and griffins, the guardians of light
from older religions, and plaques
with bareheaded men, with women
turning away, the animals on four legs
condemned by scripture.
They prowling at night through
the carrots and peas, dancing on hind legs
whenever it rains.
In my garden, the water runs East to West,
without channel, culvert or ditch,
Jordan baptisms, a Gathas symbol of life
finds its way into the imprint
left by my foot. The animals dive
and bring up mud to make a world.
In my garden, the vegetables bow
to an invisible Priapos, vegetal god laughing
at new-turned compost, applauded by goats and sheep.
Yet, in my garden, winter has stayed too long
for Proserpina’s return, the days grow scaly
in geologic time, and I wait for the earth
to give up its fruits. The gods have never abandoned
their vines, but left furrows, traces as spring
dissolves with climate change,
a hot season rises up, a glimpse of hell,
and the animals wait for the gardener, a keeper of
the light, to carry them home to a new sun.