Marc Swan

The seed that will kill you is already 
planted.
I’m not a farmer, horticulturist, into
agronomy
or raised bed gardens. I tend more toward
walks
on the shore, watching gulls, crows, an
eagle
on those special days when the light is just
right,
sun high in the sky, that magnificent blue too
often
covered in the northeast with dark clouds, thick
flakes,
pelting rain—my frame on retirement life. A
relative
in the south spends retirement days in a
well-lighted
room with a dermatologist cutting, burning,
tearing
malignant tissue from his face, neck, ears, other
parts
no need to mention here. Takes me back to a
college
friend in Tampa who spent sun-filled
afternoons
prone by the Hillsborough River in shorts, no
shirt,
hat or socks glistening with baby oil, lemon
juice
to tint his already blonde hair. I wonder how
he is,
his relationship with dermatological care.
Maybe
the seed was never planted or, if so, not
cultivated
into a full crop; above may need a
caveat—
unless the gene pool has another
plan.

Marc Swan is a retired vocational rehabilitation counselor. His poems have recently been published or forthcoming in Atlanta Review, Ropes, Last Call Anthology, Chiron Review, among others. today can take your breath away, his fourth collection, was published in 2018 by Sheila-na-gig Editions. He lives with his wife Dd in coastal Maine. 

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