“Sobriety, Year One” by Victoria Pynchon

Echo Park, 1994

It’s time for me to grow
impatient now, time to worry
I fertilized too hard
or seeded too deep,

time to think
the scarlet sage
and French marigolds,
the peonies and pansies

and phlox I buried
like treasure against
the uncertain future
will never grow for me.

The weeds in my back yard grow
hard and fast as weeds
do, crab grass pushing
its tough blades up against

the stone paving leading
to the compost heap.
I’m always down
on my knees pulling

at the roots, building
burial mounds of limp
green grass, stacking
like cord wood the purple

stalks of the wicked
weeds, sweating,
wiping dirt
from my face.

I was just hoping.

If I planted knowingly
a profusion of color
a wealth of delicate flowers
might also grow for me.



Victoria Pynchon is the founder and editor-in-chief of this journal. Her poetry has been published in Poet Lore, The Ledge, and, Transformation and her short fiction and literary non-fiction in the Southern New Hampshire Literary Journal and Kudzu.  After a twenty-five year commercial litigation career, Victoria now mediates and arbitrates business disputes through Judicate West and her own ADR firm, Settle It Now Dispute Resolution Services.  She shamelessly self-publishes here from time to time but has turned 99.9% of her writing energy over to her new neutral practice.  She blogs obsessively about anything that crosses her mind at the Settle It Now Negotiation Blog.  She has also been fooling around with video poetry on YouTube here.