Sarah Kain Gutowski
What Has Been, What Cannot Be
The garden grows like my regret:
Spans of bed long gone to weed.
Old fruits that rotted then froze
now melt to clotted gold decay.
My hands lack the will or strength
to pull invasive vines or grass away,
so matted they sit like tangled hair
after the worst night’s painful sleep.
Spring’s chill insinuates itself
between my joints. There will be
no bended knee from me, no,
not even when the daffodils nod
their gaudy crowns, expecting
supplication. I cannot pray or plea
when everything is broken.
Instead I take the coward’s lazy path
and hide inside the season’s first
half-frozen rain, weeping for the loss
of what has been; moaning like
the trees, grieving what cannot be.
Sarah Kain Gutowski is the author of Fabulous Beast: Poems (Texas Review Press), winner of the 14th annual National Indies Excellence Award for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in various print and online journals, including The Gettysburg Review, So To Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art, The Threepenny Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and The Southern Review.