Next summer I will plant flowers
in a perfect circle around the towering pine–
Carve tiny cradles for each pink impatiens,
pat flat the cool damp mulch.
Next summer I will tame wild ivy
on the hundred-year wall,
coerce it into tidy compliance.
The soaring rhododendrons stand guard,
old wise, twisted roots.
The stories they can tell.
Next summer I will hang a suet feeder
outside the kitchen window and await red cardinals.
It is August, and next summer is a long way off.
Susan Cossette lives and writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Author of Peggy Sue Messed Up, she is a recipient of the University of Connecticut’s Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rust + Moth, Vita Brevis, ONE ART, As it Ought to Be, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Amethyst Review, Crow & Cross Keys, Loch Raven Review, and in the anthologies Tuesdays at Curley’s and After the Equinox.