Reaching arms into the air in the middle of winter
to speculate angles of light in summer and fall.
Dirt bikes along muddy trails. Hauling sacks of soil and mulch
to holes dug deep through the snow. Wet and waiting.
Grasshopper infestations. Rodents gnaw bark, ringing the bases.
Deer navigating drought eat succulent leaves, lucrative buds.
Diving into blackberries when a helicopter from the river canyon
rises above the trees, flies low over the garden. The wind. The heat.
He told me to shoot anyone I caught in the patch.
Over their heads? I ventured. No, he said, shoot them.
Some drove up from LA to dicker over prices. Negotiations
grow tense. Lines and shots into the night. No fuckin’ sale.
©2020 M.J. Arcangelini All rights reserved.
M.J. (Michael Joseph) Arcangelini was born 1952 in western Pennsylvania. He has resided in northern California since 1979. He has published in a lot of little magazines, online journals, & over a dozen anthologies. He is the author of five collections, the most recent of which is A Quiet Ghost, Luchador Press 2020. Arcangelini has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.