Mark Allen Jenkins
There is a special plot in hell for throwing away
plants, I think to myself, as I throw
last season’s down
the long, metal garbage throat.
It’s easy to believe
a garden center is about nurturing life,
raising plants from seeds and grafts.
Out of a dozen green leaves,
each stem also has a few brown blades, or like blackberry, blue
berry plants, hibernate as a stick
in a plastic pail full of dirt. It doesn’t matter –
rack after rack of this year’s plants,
just came off a nursery truck.
On galvanized tables, I unwrap sago palms, generic
in their green fronds,
like the boston ferns inside, in their own tangle
of tiny fiddleheads that hang
on metal poles.
An hour before closing, I find discarded
seed packets I don’t have time to sort and return
to flimsy cardboard spring-loaded racks because I'm on my way
with more plants,
lined up on flat carts like planes
waiting for takeoff. I will catapult them down
the grey slide where a hydraulic ram will press
them against broken bags of gravel, dirt, and patio stone,
ruins of a civilization that only exists
in Better Homes and Gardens.
About the author:
Mark Allen Jenkins is a PhD student in Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas where he serves as Editor-in-Chief for Reunion: The Dallas Review. His poetry has appeared in Memorious, minnesota review, South Dakota Review, and is forthcoming in Every River on Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio.