The tomatoes rotted on the vine before they’d ripened last spring. The strawberries never bore fruit. (Marie suggested using a feather to brush the pollen from one plant to another.) Did I tell you the spinach bolted before I recognized its maturity?

I knew going in that I knew nothing. I shrugged, and figured I could trust the wild things to grow. And they did: the beets beautifully-veined leaves filled the greenhouse, the cilantro flowered with unfamiliar white buds.

Three ceramic pots
left on the veranda broke
when the hard freeze came
and not unexpectedly
mind you, a natural climax

Photo: Ren Powell