The October Garden


If you were zinnia, still bright
in the October garden and I the last
orange cosmos. If you were catmint blue
draping yourself over the cinder block wall
and I the weed coming up through gravel.
If you were the bamboo pole, listing
under the weight of late green tomatoes
that will never ripen now, and I
the frayed string that binds them. If
you were heavy purple grapes dangling
over the canted railing and I the feasting
thrush. If you were summer's echo
in yellow coreopsis and I the tall sedum,
autumn-flushed. If you were the sun
breaking slant over that little grove of aspens
across the street, if you were hummingbird's
quick wing, if you were winter coming on
or the studious worm and I the turned
earth, the patch of moss beneath an oak,
the oak's sharp-edged leaf ready to crackle
underfoot, the white-throated sparrow's
familiar three descending notes in a minor
key, oh, if only I were sometimes
you and you were me.