/emily franklin

What I know this morning when the car is packed—

that you are here in this field
with river reserve views, mossy
estuary crowded with algae, reeds,
and loons, the rotted rope swing
someone else strapped
to the oak so long so long ago
the bark edged over the woven strands
so we cannot remove or fix it without hurting
the tree the way you and I are
not the same body but almost
the same body, the way the river and ocean
meet but not where we can see it or—the way
we pulled stones from the pasture and expected
things—leeks, snap peas, sun golds to grow but
only some grew and we never knew
which would or why despite soil testing
and the maintenance amateur farmers do half
because we want the food and half for productivity—

the way tidal charts suggest surety we cannot have
or how growing feels like accomplishment, especially
when the children are growing out of the home
and I am unable to leave it much—mulch, fertilizer,
amino acids, fish oil, coffee filters wet with grinds all
worked into the ground with the voles and nuthatches flitting
here here here here here here here here here and gone
and this is all I can know this morning as the Buzzard’s Bay
tide rises and falls back, the wind rustles the last
of the fall leaves, garden tucked for winter—
that you are here, that given the chance
you would come back again.

Emily Franklin‘s work has been published in The New York Times, The London Sunday Times, Guernica, The Cincinnati Review, New Ohio Review, Hobart, Blackbird, The Rumpus, River Styx, and The Journal among other places as well as featured on National Public Radio, and named notable by the Association of Jewish Libraries. Emily’s debut poetry collection TELL ME HOW YOU GOT HERE was published by Terrapin Books in February 2021.