In Questionable Taste

People ask if gardening is hard
but that’s not the problem
the problem is it’s easy
and it really ought to be impossible.

What is this
putting stuff in dirt and expecting to get food back
what are you, a communist?
You bought a bag of cowpeas
not even a proper seed packet with a glossy picture on it
and shoved a couple in the ground.
You know it can’t work.

Even fairy tales know better
everybody laughs when Jack trades a cow for beans
a cow is worth something, after all.
The whips that twined up into the hydrangeas have three green leaves
so they must be poison ivy
that’s probably it
the things that look like bean pods are a coincidence
it’s a new kind of poison ivy
you’ll probably be even more allergic to this one.

And the funny thing is that I know this
when they come for me and say “You have to stop now–
you know people aren’t allowed to do this sort of thing,”
I’ll bow my head and say “I know.”
It was much too easy
it had to be illegal
or at least in very questionable taste,
thinking you could put almost nothing into dirt
and get everything back
almost for free.