“In the corner of the garden”

In the corner of the garden,
just beyond the fence,
there is a sewer grate.
After hard rains,
I step through the wet grass growing—
then through the trough of mowed clippings,
between patches of ripe red tomato plants.
Hearing the rushing water,
I crouch down and look in.
I see black flecks
where the light stops
and the darkness begins.
I snap heads from bodies
of dandelions,
dropping Van Gogh in.
All the rain of heaven moves
beneath my town, spitting and gurgling;
Expelled from wide sewer pipe mouths
to retention pond basins behind homes
on the next block from where I live.
I think about how these sewer pipes
would be an ideal place
for child molesters to stuff my body
after they were done with it.
I think about crawling half alive,
crying out in the shadows behind my house.
I think about a little Jewish boy hiding in the rafters;
His homeland terror before growing up
to be an OB/GYN in Chicagoland.
I think about the scar on my mother’s abdomen;
Germany and Russia. Poland and gunshots.
I think about how lucky I am to be alive
safe above rushing water
and dizzying tides.
Then I see a Robin, worm in mouth;
And I’m happy to be living above the ground;
Wet grass between my toes, the sun has come out
and the water rushes through the blackness,
unaware of me or my thoughts.
A small boy spits
and a world is made for it.

narrative poem written on 02-12-2012 by: on mattkane.com
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