Abbie Kiefer

On Gardners’ World, Monty Don Leaves the Pond Plants Untrimmed in Deference to the Tadpoles

I must work around them he says. Guides 
his wooden cart to other ground. 

I have long regarded myself as the gardener, 
pledged to the care of small things. But how often

have I been the frog, sheltered in the unnoticed
care of another? Benevolence 

misreckoned as my own resolve. In the screen light, 
gratefulness finds me — 

or it will. When I’ve found my way
out of being the pond. I’m unmoving

water, still winter-cold. I’m skirted 
with stone. So heavy where I’m hemmed.

Abbie Kiefer's work is forthcoming or has appeared in Boulevard, The Cincinnati Review, Ninth Letter, Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, and other places. She was a 2022 and 2023 semifinalist for the 92Y Discovery Prize. Find her online at