The Community Garden by Michael Haeflinger

Nothing beats a hard day’s work.

Among snap pea trestles
and tomato plant cages,
I breathe deeply

Gone are barges
of iron frame ghost rails
and gone are board-ups
of the imagination.

It’s just me
and the dirt
and the morning

and the tall man with the cane
following his junky girl
into the sunrise –

I wonder if he knows anyplace to go.

I want to invite him to kneel with me
and pray to the god of soil:
his cloud angel marionettes,
his bishops of sewer steam.

Across the city, roots burrow infinite,
stems emerge
in the misdirection of night.

Across the street, the metal shields
of the liquor store slide into the wall.
Piles of turnip bulbs along the furrow
are only the beginning of a death.

My knees ache and
everything flowers
too soon these days.

*Michael Haeflinger is a native Midwesterner who has recently moved to Tacoma from Philadelphia. His chapbook, Love Poem for the Everyday was published by Dog On a Chain Press in 2011 and his newest chapbook collection, The Days Before, will appear in Fall 2014. In addition to writing poetry, he also works on mixed media collages. Check out his work on the web at