Another Chamber of Commerce Day – a poem by Greg Chambers

Another Chamber of Commerce Day – Greg Chambers 3/24/20

I wish I cared.
The sun shines today with no pesky breeze.
The dog patrols the border with an extra pep in his step,
Life presses through the remaining leaves while
The neighbors are out, sporting
hats with wide brims, gloves, shovels
Eager to sit and squat and toil in black dirt
For yet another year.

My empty planters are on the dog’s route,
They still hold tight to last year’s stalks,
and I feel the urge to crawl back in bed.
I’ll say it’s allergies. I can’t make the effort again.

It’s said, no one sets out to grow weeds, and
I understand the sentiment.
But when I look into the future, I can only see
Tired me, leaning against the fence contemplating
the irresistible life force of the magic vines and the spurge
and the ground ivy, and the crabgrass. All sprouted overnight.
They care. They really, really care.

In the basement I trip over canning supplies.
My wife patiently waits for a harvest to store.
Come fall, we’ll head back to the farmers market,
her head turning wistfully, a playful smile aimed
at the youthful bearded man with tanned arms holding his bounty.
Her mind will drift to thoughts of what a bountiful touch must be like.
I’d like to say it’s not the size of the gardener, or something like that.

When I catch him at the lemonade stand, my plea fumbles from my lips,
The bearded man, speaks in earnest explanations,
prepare the ground for growth man, because
you can’t make something grow
Just control what you can control man.
He cares.

I want to move to an apartment, in the desert
exercise my control, relieve myself from what’s to come.
I’m no stranger to effort but I can’t face another season.
I wish I cared.
I wish I had a beard. And a tan.
And strong arms to carry a hefty bounty back to my aproned bride.
If it wasn’t for the allergies.