Body Garden

Body Garden

Charlotte is gone,
and she’s never coming back.
Amy is as sure of this
as she is of the rose
beneath her nose
(a flower with no scent).
It’s OK. It’s OK. It’s OK.
Amy repeats it like a mantra,
willing her respiratory system
to attend to the soul,
not just the blood and guts.

Crippled corpus.

Charlotte has uprooted herself.
Amy’s new additions
appeal more than anything
grown from old seed.
They are
showier,
not prone to disease,
deer resistant,
genetically modified,
hybridized,
sterile,
a safe bet.

Cold frame.

Charlotte will be fine
in her new bed.
She comes from
resilient stock.
She has weathered
drought and flood,
unwanted attention
from deer and dogs,
cats and rats,
and nosy neighbors
trying to dig her up
or cut her down.

Delivery system.

Amy will keep
digging in the dirt,
paring, pruning,
separating perfect limb
from damaged limb,
adding the latest
offerings she finds online.
She’ll water, weed, fertilize
—in short, ensure that
her carefully cultivated,
prize-winning landscape
stays so full of flowers,
she never notices
what’s missing.

Memorializing Mediocrity

School Years

I jumped through school hoops
better than all but two of my peers
and was happy to keep my mouth shut.

At college I outplayed most of my mates,
simply by following the directions, and
typing up the words that were wanted.

It was early success for a slow learner
unable to figure out the important stuff
until her life was at least half over.

Acceptance

Those Eyes

I sing of a mother
facing deep rejection,
scandal, pain, and sorrow,
a mother who said yes.

She was a young woman,
untested, uncertain.
She needed trust to be
a mother who said yes.

The hope there in her heart
and the life in her womb
had to be enough for
this mother who said yes.

She knew that happiness,
shelter, security
can’t be guaranteed for
a mother who said yes.

But she chose love, knowing
that all we have to do
is step out in faith, be
the mother who said yes.