Spring 1988 • Vol. X No. 2 Poetry |

Perennial Garden

In the garden, I followed your eye, called them lamb's ear and primrose, stroked the small alert faces turned up like sparks of a distant moon. And forgot this was an afternoon in May, forgot I was a woman and a mother. How high we were, the houses below specks of angular darkness. You moved in and out of shade, suddenly far away soothing the fierce new flower heads, their busy electric yellow. Then the moment passed and I was human again. Over and over I asked you names, hungry for something, as if we could coin color and substance and scent right there, out of black earth. The owner let us roam—strangers—she, trusting of a certain wonder. Look, you whispered, look at these lilies of the valley. . . . In a perfect hush we stood world so conscious and all at once all of it indifferent to us as if we had no names, as if our lives, edged and thick and dragged for years behind us, had never happened.

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In the garden, I followed your eye, called them lamb's ear and primrose, stroked the small alert faces turned up like sparks of a distant moon. And forgot this was […]

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