After All

After All


Even when the garlic crop is good,
something else is always dying—

the peas withering in the afternoon we hoped
for rain instead of watering, the tomatoes

over-shaded. It should teach us something
about pathos or fate, but really

couldn’t we have tried harder? Predicted
the week of heat when the spinach bolted?

The trouble with gardening
is there’s rain and wind and sun to blame,

like the woman in the buffer zone
outside the clinic who spat at me and screamed

What kind of man is he to bring you here?
while I held your hand, and our daughter curled

in her crib at home with the sitter.
Afterward, I dozed against you

on a park bench overlooking the city
until I was ready to go back to work.

But that’s not gardening.
And still there’s the garlic—

those round, paper-skinned heads
you pulled this morning and carefully laid out

to dry on the driveway’s warm flat bed
below our window.

Thank you for reading The Nation

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read, just one of the many incisive, deeply-reported articles we publish daily. Now more than ever, we need fearless journalism that shifts the needle on important issues, uncovers malfeasance and corruption, and uplifts voices and perspectives that often go unheard in mainstream media.

Throughout this critical election year and a time of media austerity and renewed campus activism and rising labor organizing, independent journalism that gets to the heart of the matter is more critical than ever before. Donate right now and help us hold the powerful accountable, shine a light on issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug, and build a more just and equitable future.

For nearly 160 years, The Nation has stood for truth, justice, and moral clarity. As a reader-supported publication, we are not beholden to the whims of advertisers or a corporate owner. But it does take financial resources to report on stories that may take weeks or months to properly investigate, thoroughly edit and fact-check articles, and get our stories into the hands of readers.

Donate today and stand with us for a better future. Thank you for being a supporter of independent journalism.