To a Ring I Lost Planting Bulbs

By Sarah Barber Sarah Barber
You give me the slip between garlic and lilies,   
as if this is what comes of my unprotected   
loves, of my hands in the sweet earth,   
their willful miscegenation of the border bed   
where you’re tucked in deep with tulips, too,   
like just one more of their heart-freaks:   
a fluke diamondine flake, a thin vein gone gold.   
Being mine, you’ll grow up a girdled tree, girt   
with a ringed-around root, nothing like   
the fruitful vine of good wives—one of which   
I’ll never be so, my not-love-knot, you may   
as well come up instead like a kiss:   
the one wind gives to rouse the Japanese maple,   
October’s aerialist, its bright aureole   
in the last late sun a red mouth, opening.

Source: Poetry (February 2009).


This poem originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2009


Sarah Barber is a doctoral candidate in creative writing at the University of Missouri. Her poems appear widely.

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Poems by Sarah Barber

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, Relationships, Men & Women

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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