Chopping Greens

by Cynthia Lindeman

And I think I’m talking to angels these days—coming through a blue crystal with a name that 
ends in ite. Resting my hand on my heart,

I wait for the name.

As I ram the knife through, raw beet juice bloodies everything it touches.  Spraying my skirt, my
stovetop, my wall, my window.  I’d have to stab a real heart for this much bitter and alkaline 
bursting.  Then.  I chop the greens: celery, beet, and carrot leaves.  Cupping them in my palms, 
they turn, piles of feathery wings.  Turning feathers.  Like an offering, floating smooth into my 
crock pot.


No one on my street would be doing this.

But I think it’s braided into my DNA—yesterday I re-arranged drying roses for my grandmother 
so she wouldn’t have to crane her bruised neck to view them from the hospital bed.  Explaining 
the newly found condition that pushed her down the porch stairs, she gestures—

        my heart just goes—

and paints the pistachio‑colored air with arthritic knuckles.  Sounds of birds.  Doves softly 
touching.  The moment.

I have no garden.  Nothing is wasted.

Cynthia Lindeman is a working writer, poet, and teacher. She has an interview with Alan Shapiro coming out in 2015 Poet’s Market and plans to write a lot of her own poems as well. The best advice she’s gotten so far about poetry is to do nothing but read if you have time to do only one thing.

About Chopping Greens—This poem is excerpted from my longer poem, “Renunciate.”