local_library The Garden

by J.B. Fredkin

Published in Issue No. 242 ~ July, 2017

Plastic owls perch on plum trees,

trumpet vines scale the fence,


my grandfather kneels,

hammers planks into place.


Over-ripe palms, creases

etched as deep as the cracks


in the split hickory handle

of his rust-burnt hammer.


Planting slats deep in Babylon,

his earth, he looks up, peeks


through day-rays, cheeks fold

wrinkled denim into blue eyes.


He turns, measures me:

Drive in this post.


Hands caked with dirt, sweat

heavy, he pitches me


the tool, a first onus

for callow hands.



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JB Fredkin received his BA from Santa Clara University and MFA from The New School in New York City. He's been published in Atticus Review, Santa Clara Review, Best American Poetry Blog, and Belleville Park Pages. He currently lives in San Francisco.