Do You Have a Head for Cabbage?
Please wait two to three weeks to plant the cabbage,
during which time it will remain on your table
in its paper cup, most likely with roots snarling around
the bottom, taking up the entire cup or exceeding it.
Consider that you could just eat it now, get the whole thing
over with. You wouldn’t win the cabbage-growing contest —
or your son wouldn’t, that is — but let’s be honest:
Can you even find the thing that came home with the cabbage
from the Bonnie cabbage company, explaining the contest,
how to win that $1,000 at some point in the fall?
Spring to fall is a ridiculous length of time, in terms of
paper, its management, to say nothing of the growing of
this cabbage. Anyway, what you should do is an elaborate
daily study of light patterns from your dining-room window,
an assessment of the perfect spot, and perfect day to plant
cabbage. But there is no “perfect” here, thanks to bushes
and a palisade fence, the advancing shadow that overtakes
the scrubby shared yard. It may be best to hem and haw
over cabbage, water it like a houseplant until it’s clear
that it’s missed any chance at all, be haunted by a photo
that can never exist: your son in a plaid shirt, farmer-style,
holding up his harvested cabbage like a gruesome trophy,
a head on a pike, after a summer of fattening for the kill.
Today’s prompt at NaPoWriMo.net was to write a Georgic, which is an instructional and pithy agriculture poem. I decided to catch up with the cabbage plant that I wrote about earlier this month.