My Heart Will Know
by Christopher Hileman
Do I like lemon cucumber? Do I? This is Rodney’s
Question for me tonight as I last minute trim the unruly
Clematis on the trellis that guards my open door.
There is jasmine there too, and in my heart the spring
Memory of the blooming duel of beauty and perfume
Dances with his question of me. He offers me food.
While I fill the bin with trimmings that go in the morning
To the mulching place the city offers for my shed greens
I think on a neighbor who is kind. Rodney is kind to me.
We settle, Rodney and I on tomatoes. In the gardens
He tends there are armies of tomatoes and I know
I find kindred in the ripening of these fine red soldiers.
I shall eat a squad or two and my soul will fill and my belly will
Fill as well. I am told there is tonic in tomatoes. Oh yes.
And my heart, oh my heart will know I’ve been invited home.
Christopher Hileman moved to Oregon in 1973. He has retired to live on the volcanic bluff overlooking Willamette Falls in Oregon City, Oregon. He ascends the stairs from his basement digs to improvise on his Yamaha keyboard or the house Playel grand when the calico cat releases him from below. The part-Irish Wolfhound here likes him.