Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Home Gardener

The Home Gardener
by Elizabeth Southwood

Gray white-edged clouds
blow through the sky,
seemingly swept along
by dancing switches
of white blossoms:
quaint hearth brooms made from
our ancient plum, its pale green lichen
crusting its soft-gray limbs.
I hold on to the tree,
cautious from tripping
on gopher excavations.

I watch you down the years
tending the yard: mowing,
weeding, raking, pruning.
Now It smells of new blooms:
roses, nasturtiums,
honey locust, Scotch broom.

Bright-blue stellar jays caw
in the oak. A neighbor’s
black and white cat startles at their squawks,
then rolls around in your freshly-weeded
rose-garden dirt as if it were catnip.

You stretch as you stand up,
and smile, satisfied with
the piles of weeds destined
for the compost, “found”
earthworms to circulate air too.

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