When I wake, the pink peony’s
golf ball buds are clenched fists—
reluctant. I water their base, tuck
stragglers into the thin wires
of tomato cage. Weeks ago
I gently wrestled each stem
with purpose. I would.
I’ll to try to control.
In a recovery meeting, I heard
I’m the problem. If I’m not
the problem, there’s no solution.
Birdsong overlaps and layers,
hermit thrush and eastern phoebe,
belted kingfisher. From the porch
I vaguely answer emails. Ants
peel for hours, march the stems
beckoning an opening. At dusk
I await my wife, splay a book across
my thighs amidst the bullfrog chorus.
The first blossom howls open—
a thick and fragrant affirmation
my own hands folded in my lap.