Summer 1995 • Vol. XVII No. 3/4 Poetry |


The day after I die God appears in my backyard, shakes his head, can't find me anywhere. Sniffs around the lilacs, of course lilacs, of course it's spring and I died young, died imitating Lincoln, or Whitman who loved to plan his funeral. God sees mine winding through the streets with people waving Esrogs and Lulavs, waving reeds and lemons behind my casket crammed in a gardening truck with laurel hedge cuttings and dug-up sod. It's on its way to the dump leading a line of other junker gardening trucks loaded with lawnmowers and rakes, with grass clippings and crushed spring flowers:tulips and rhodies, bleeding hearts and narcissus, pansies and primroses, quince, lilac, apple and cherry blossoms, the big saucers of the magnolias, the cascading hair of the Aubretia . . . well, probably mostly grass clippings and weeds, of which I could list more than Whitman's catalog of smells, because I died and lived grubbing that wild, untamable, ragged, root-clenching crop. That's why God can't

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