by Daniel Weinshenker

Published in Issue No. 9 ~ October, 1997

we used to watch them fall

pretend our eyeballs were out of sockets

to pick up and fit back in.

the day our brother was born

dad planted a vegetable garden

and on weekends he’d watch it grow

maybe it was easier to mark the progress

of a tomato

a tight green to a yielding red.

he was weeding when our brother took his first step,

fertilizing, the day he stopped breast feeding,

pruning upon first speaking.

there was a draught when our brother was young,

so no longer could he make puddles in the yard,

floating leafs and the dried skins of plums

on the surface.

but there was enough water for the garden.

and dad brought squash to the table,

presented like trophies,

baskets of green beans.

subsistence farming was a novelty,

the straw hats, the Stanley tools, the sweat,

the shed our brother used to jump

off, into beds of pine needles.

pretend we are farmers,

pretend we are in need.

put the leftover in Tupperware and microwave later.

from the window of the kitchen

he watched the garden grow,

and we buried our cat out there,

then the iguana,

giving them to the zucchini.

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Daniel Weinshenker is a graduate student in creative writing at CU Boulder. Amidst teaching and toiling away at something or other, he manages to tear apart human interaction, communicate somewhat frequently and, for the most part, dress himself.