Jan/Feb 2002 Poetry Special Feature

In the Garden

by Ginny Wray


In the Garden

I am ancient, heart-blasted,
startled by boys on leaping boards
puzzled by people who warn me to
back up my hard drive
in case of disaster
as if they couldn't read
the small portion of the world's misery
tattooed on my wrist.

Forever a widow with downcast eyes,
bent, earthbound,
I invent variations of the dream
that I am Io, tiny moon of Jupiter,
or the nymph satellite
in the orbit of Neptune.
I search the NASA database for signs
of incoming comets and the birth of stars,
so is it any wonder that
I dare to imagine
there's a god on my roof?

Closer to heaven
than I will ever be,
he watches me
turning the earth
in my garden,
gun-shy of roses,
performing the miracle
of preparing the soil
as if the worm and I were one.

One day I'll invite him to
sit in my kitchen
where no light escapes me
and see if I can tempt him with the
fruit of my garden
long nourished by my deeply buried heart.


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