for Michael

I want to buy seeds at True Value Hardware;
petunias, like I saw growing in planter boxes
across from Valencia Gardens on Guerrero, the
dogwood bloom snowing pink on dirty cement.

I used to play in my Father's garden among
spyorria and sweet alysum, yellow tongue iris
and jungle red dahlia, fat blushing peonies,
double white lilacs, a rose covered arbor.

I studied each blossom, leaf, shape, vein, stem.
Four o'clocks, their shiny black seeds dropping
down, ensuring themselves in the earth against
harsh winter, safe until spring after croccii and hyacinth.

My words may not always be as fragrant
as you would like, or as lovely as my Father's garden.
But you know how I have grown, and you let me.
The wind does not blow the seeds far from our bed.

© Mark Hannan

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