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  • Braiding Garlic
  • Robert Gibb

You planted it last year, late in the season When the garden's small dynasties were at an end— Grub-colored garlic, each clove a sliver moon Slipped back into darkness—and no clue In your blood work that you'd never see the green Wands rising above their bed, the seed-casings Forming like turbans. They even waived the biopsy. This spring, to keep the plants from running to leaf, I bent the stalks back toward the ground Where the pale, segmented globes were rounding Into the "stinking rose" of the herbals, the heal-all That failed to, like everything else. What's left except to braid the freshly lifted bulbs Into garlands, add your ashes to their bed?



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