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By Margaret Towner

I soak the earth one last time,
tug at invasive vines,
and pull out old dry roots.
I make space for manzanita
that will hug the ground,
scarlet monkey flowers on long stems
for hummingbirds to find.
I plant Russian sage for bees,
and purple salvia to heal my wounds,
hoping the dragonfly will come back
to hunt for insects lingering on a leaf.
Digging the soil with my hands,
earth creeps beneath my nails, and I place
sweet ceanothus in dazzling blue
next to milkweed for the monarch,
coyote mint for a bittersweet tea,
verbena for midnight insomnia,
yellow yarrow to sooth my dreams,
and one last sacred sage,
a creeping one to shelter the earth
in the dry days yet to come.

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