Minor Ghosts 


by Mary Biddinger



Someone told me I should cut grass for a living.

Perhaps all lives would be better if confined


to one singular sweeping motion. Like conducting

an orchestra that’s silent, or shoveling snow


for the practice, in August, when all that batters

the hedges is a quaint shower of low-grade


longing. I had no idea that hedgehogs were dolls

and teacup patterns in countries such as


the one I found myself in. No one told me to go

elsewhere, but that didn’t mean belonging.


Please don’t start counting the ingredients that

comprise this particular soup. It’s supposed


to be an improvisation like everything else.

The cast-iron pot can be its own sort of villager.


If we begin asking the ghosts for permission

then nobody will be left to lay down the flowers.