Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Vespers

In your extended absence, you permit me 
use of earth, anticipating
some return on investment. I must report 
failure in my assignment, principally 
regarding the tomato plants.
I think I should not be encouraged to grow 
tomatoes. Or, if I am, you should withhold 
the heavy rains, the cold nights that come 
so often here, while other regions get 
twelve weeks of summer. All this 
belongs to you: on the other hand, 
I planted the seeds, I watched the first shoots 
like wings tearing the soil, and it was my heart 
broken by the blight, the black spot so quickly 
multiplying in the rows. I doubt
you have a heart, in our understanding of 
that term. You who do not discriminate 
between the dead and the living, who are, in consequence, 
immune to foreshadowing, you may not know 
how much terror we bear, the spotted leaf,
the red leaves of the maple falling
even in August, in early darkness: I am responsible 
for these vines.

Credit


From The Wild Iris, published by The Ecco Press, 1992. Copyright © 1992 by Louise Glück. All Rights reserved. Used with permission.

Author


Louise Glück

The author of numerous collections of poetry, Louise Glück is the recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature, served as a Chancellor for the Academy of American Poets, and twas the Library of Congress’s poet laureate consultant in poetry.

Date Published: 1992-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/vespers