Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Garden in Winter (early draft)

All is well here, just busy with school--head down, brain engaged with stuff like weather science (difficult class), world history, poetry and literature.  The following is a "poem of place"  written for poetry class. It's distinctly stronger than my last piece (still dusting off the rust and dust of disuse). I'm still working on the line breaks. 

The garden in winter

This morning a robin winged in to pick through the mulch
of the twenty by twenty garden. Its head descended,
plucked at the detritus and dropped it
like a gourmet critic, rusty red chest ruffling.
It wants spring.

But the garden is still shrouded in winter,
beneath straw and rotting leaves and layers
of newspapers; bad news turned face up
for the heavens to read, in case God missed
the headlines announcing our troubles.

The garden needs winter like people need
Sunday afternoons. In its respite from the demands
of summer's roots, from the squirmings of
worms and hatching beetles and anthropoids and my garden rake,
it naps and waits and putters. Sifts rocks to the surface for the tiller
to gather in spring, finds my missing trowel and fragments of pottery
from a hundred years before I came
and props them among the rocks for me to find
and puzzle over.

Winter must work on the soil like a plastic surgeon. Winds, snow, and rain,
 instrumental in smoothing away the furrows, between the beds
where lettuce spread and pole beans made macrame of the fence.
It gives the garden permission to fall apart.
I've got this, winter says, and blows away the disappointments--
the crops that didn't take, the drought that did.
And gives the garden young soil, soft crumbling, full again of the life
stripped away way by living.



Bob said...

This is great, Mary. If I read and understood your previous post correctly, this is your first shot at poetry in a while? I think you're off to a great start.

Scotty said...

I like this one, Mary - some nice images in there.


jeanie said...

Very nice imagery at work there Mary!

Mary O. Paddock said...

Thanks everyone. 'Sorry for being so slow in replying.