The Rake that’s Leaning Against the Tree in the Yard

by Jeffrey Hermann

Wait, my children are growing
too fast and we neglected
the garden this summer
Now autumn there’s nothing
to collect in the yard but leaves
Look between the branches
you can see the lake is full
of November We imagine
ingredients from the market
will add up to something
See how heat from the oven
comes in waves, how this fruit
makes a purple stain Clouds
on a gaseous planet you can
just make out with a telescope
When I kiss you goodnight 
and open my eyes it’s your
surface I see The only world

I want to inhabit is the smooth
of your eyelids I am not
the captain of this ship I’m not
the ruler of this land I’ve no
reliable method or process
Give me a riddle and I’ll give
up almost immediately
Who needs another mystery
when the devout may die
differently than the rest of us
When words in a certain order
could render you helpless
and in love We pray in the kitchen
using butter and flour and sugar
We need to decide how to dress
for both what the weather is and
what the weather might become

JEFFREY HERMANN’S work has appeared in Palette Poetry, Pank Magazine, Juked, The Shore, and other publications. He received a Pushcart nomination in 2018 from Juked Magazine.

Photo: “autumnal” by jenny downing