Seed sprouting

The Waiting Garden

            —for Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd

            Snowdrops have bloomed, tiny white cups face down, streaked with their faint green, but they have not been admired.
            Cherry blossoms are in bud, hard red balls, though the trees, unpruned, have not produced their usual fistfuls of promise.
            Violets have upthrust their rampant leaves, and have flowered, and they wonder when the gardener, without remorse, will dig them up, divide them, throw half of them into the compost heap.
            The freshly unfurled leaves of rose bushes are already ruddy with rust, their buds still debating with the sun whether they will be drawn out.
            In the greenhouse, the potted wisteria waits, remembering freshly dug earth, the quench of water.
            The vegetable patch is unturned, grey earth matted with leaves, drying in spring sun.
            The garden hesitates, unsure.  Where are the hands that know which touch, which stroke, which prune, which division, which discarding might make for beauty?  What eyes will lovingly admire, note distress, change the view for unity and form?  What nose to smell?  What tongue to witness the tang of arugula, the thickness of cilantro?
            The garden turns to the house and waits, and still the closed door does not open, no creak, no slam of screen.  No boots tread the earth.  No shearing, hoeing, plucking, picking, no fertilizing, composting or watering.  Even in rain the garden is parched.  In sunlight, dark.  The garden waits.

"The Waiting Garden" first appeared in Scissors and Spackle




Artichoke symbol


Winter onion

Rose etched in tombstone

Dead potted plant


Willow tree


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