Poem: Garden of Souls


Garden of Souls

The storm has nestled the chair into the Rose of Sharon,
a refugee from Virginia.
Behind it is a lilac. Tall now, a few short years ago
it was just a cutting, one that has been cut and rooted,
and rooted again for three generations
from the corner of my Great Aunt Helen’s House
and grown tall.
There’s a forsythia to the right.
A memory of my wife’s mother.
Her favorite flower, I planted it
without knowing the woman,
knowing only how precious she was
to the woman I love.
There are other forsythia in the garden,
cut from my father-in-law’s garden.
My ex-wife may have cut me off a decade and more ago,
but her family remains precious to me.

I will never be in Better Homes and Gardens.
no tours will amaze friends and neighbors.
It is all a bit haphazard,
a garden less about color and line
than souls transplanted, trusting them
to thrive where ever they are planted.
An invisible history that blooms and dies
and blooms again.

About this poem

The picture is from my back yard. Last week, a storm blew the chair away from my firepit to where it sits in the image. Normally, I’d put it right back. I just felt like there was a poem in it and waited.

Now I can put the chair back, after I read in it a while, surrounded by old friends.


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