Some Lines for the Looming Apocalypse


After Czeslaw Milosz


On the day humanity edges over

a cliff with an unknowably steep face


I am planting a garden. Hoeing

it up during the apocalypse,


I joke to a friend who is alive

across the country. I hack up


weeds, dig deep beneath their roots

like a narrow-minded god making


room for the plants I would rather have

—arugula, basil, tomatoes, peppers—


but won’t be able to buy soon

when it is too much risk to forsake


this cozy Southern fortress for

something as ordinary as salad.


I am wearing my crumpled sunhat

to avoid aging, though I want to


age like a stubborn tree, the mighty

magnolia besieging half our yard,


its glossy green leaves insisting:

This Earth’s for me. I am staying


here where I’ve buried my roots

and spread wide my gnarled arms.


 

STEVIE EDWARDS is the author of Sadness Workshop (Button Poetry, 2018), Humanly (Small Doggies Press, 2015), and Good Grief (Write Bloody Publishing, 2012). She is a lecturer at Clemson University and holds an MFA from Cornell and a PhD from University of North Texas. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Missouri Review, Crazyhorse, and elsewhere.