I killed my aloe.
Everyone says you can't do that;
That aloe is impossible to kill.
I can kill damn near anything.
Pert near, my grandma Fox used to say:
"Supper's pert near ready."
She was the softest person I've ever known
And probably the toughest
I remember the apple tree in her yard.
I wonder how she walked and talked and breathed when her little ones were gone.
I want to make apple butter,
sit in the kitchen and watch it cook down to thick, brown
Feel the autumn forcing its brittle way into the heat.
I want to reconstruct the farmhouse
Stack it plank by plank, haphazard
Crawl back up into its lap, settle deep into the sawdust and woodsmoke and the crumbling edges
Of the floorboards
and the softened stairs, sagging in the center
Find the places where the ghosts are huddled
Whispering to me that the aloe can live
pert near anywhere.