If I were a garden

If I were a garden
I'd plant myself with poetry,
spread seeds in fine lines,
work the earth
with my bare hands,
feel the pulse of seasons.

I'd rock myself to sleep
with the sound of rain,
harvest and sow
so my earth would
always be productive,
each fruit a seed,
each squash filled with promise
of new plants.
When the drought time came,
I'd let my fields fall fallow,
and wait.

I'd be a riot of color,
fragrance, taste!
I'd plant lavender and lemon verbena,
rainbows of poppies.
I'd ply myself with seasons of
sage, basil, oregano,
and be aware of thyme.
In winter frost, I'd dream of spring's
new shoots, and in spring's first daffodils
I'd see the deep shades of fall.

Always I'd be ready for mystery,
and the delight of unexpected miracles.
I'd feel the power
that drives the plant to fruit.
I'd work and I'd
and love those fine lines and rounded seeds,
those deeply lobed leaves,
billowing colors,
of my garden



So was the bargain sealed –
like Persephone,
down inside
the darkest cavern
for half her days –
attuned to cues
to the acceptable,
heeding what was
or left over,
caught in winter,
frost bound.

Then that glorious release!
Spring loaded,
she bursts through
crust of earth,
arches leaves, branches,
rockets into flowers
seeks the sun,
unfolds petal after petal, muscular, smiling
to dance in the breeze
a symphony of color
in warmest summer days.

Then, fall –
blossom folds its petals,
pleats its skirts,
turns inward,
strengthens its pod,
preparing for winter,
for the assault of that first frost,
laying in stores
to keep hope alive,
a flame in darkness,
– to resist
– to be
– to wait for spring
to come again,
once more,
in due time.


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 © 2005, Lenore Horowitz