We turn into an alley, nearing the end of our walk,
and I straggle, sapped, by a massing of lost vines.
Someone has left their garden, a sure, deliberate planting,
spilling into the gravel, bins, a parked car.
Incongruently, panged, I think of a white goal
unmet in an ancient track: mēta. I’ve stopped short;
rancor enriches my throat. That where parents are bowed down,
the elderly hard to their limits, cultivation could hang abandoned.
These grapes are for no one’s taste,
though I’m touching them with my hand,
whose flourishing doesn’t belong, already turning the spokes
of the stroller, my children chiding from their aimless bicycles ahead.
Kjerstin Anne Kauffman is a poet and essayist living in Spokane, WA. Her work appears in The Cimarron Review, The Hopkins Review, 32 Poems, The Cresset, The American Poetry Review, and elsewhere.
Also by Kjerstin Kauffman (see all)
- Work Done? David Mason’s Pacific Light - February 19, 2023
- Well Said: New Prose by Daniel Brown - September 21, 2022
- Spells & Structure, Structure, Structure: On C. Dale Young’s Prometeo and Marcia Karp’s If by Song - May 22, 2022