What Pumpkins Are For

As much as I swat I love
this bothering incessance
of mosquitos in still air
after warm rain.

Standing in the throaty exhaust
of the old Farmall
I urge the dogs
to make the trip with me,
down to the community plots
where I’ve planted nothing
but brag patch pumpkins
and a string of river bass,
if only to sit
on their immensity
in the moon cool nights
of hoarish fall.

Skip died this past spring
shoveling out winter’s heavy manure,
and so I plant her garden
with the talk of August tables:
tomatoes, corn, beets, cabbage —
ostensible things
I’m sure she’d agree with;
though planted, I figure,
somehow not quite right.

It’s just weird to think
she finally can’t
do anything about it.

But that is what pumpkins are for.

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