Garden Party
Natalie Homer

Garden Party

Skeletal leaves flaked to brown lace, 
more air than blade, leftover from fall, 
gather in the azalea’s softly greening skirts.

I tell myself looking at the outside world
will prevent any unpleasant unearthing
in the soil of my psyche.

I am tired of blackbirds blackbirds blackbirds 
and common robins, and the hawks along the highway 
waiting for something to die in the median.

The flowerbed churns up white seashells, 
first one, then another, then a whole stash.
I tell my husband and he reveals he put them there— 

emptied a whole Mason jar over the side of the porch.
When I ask why, he says, It didn’t seem right
to throw them away

Natalie Homer

has recently contributed to Ruminate, Puerto del Sol, American Literary Review, Sou'wester, Four Way Review, and other journals. She received an MFA from West Virginia University and lives in southwestern Pennsylvania. Her first collection, Under the Broom Tree, is forthcoming from Autumn House Press.