I keep a casual garden
burnt in places, lush by
the climbing trees.
When in despair,
I examine the corners of that garden,
pluck the dangerous weeds.
I scrub the birdbath
and fill it with fresh cold water
placing stones as platforms
for the bees and small birds.
This garden is my favourite place to walk,
small, but with hidden nooks
and a seat for solitude.
It took years of tending to get to this place.
A once-thought cursed corner is now deep green
with violet hues and the perfect shade.
Still there is more to tend
as it is ever changing. Birds come,
leave their droppings and kill
what can be restored.
Squirrels explore, dig holes, preparing for winter.
Raccoons work their nocturnal havoc –
birdbath on its side, flipped steppingstones – evidence
of their hunting for grubs.
The sounds when the neighbours
are sleeping or away
are best. The smells are perfect
of marigolds on the deck and the rain.
There is an animal graveyard in my garden –
a place in front of two tall trees.
My mother says this garden is beautiful
and she would know.
I rejoice in its poetry.
Everything wants to live,
expand, overflow in this garden.
When I forget God loves me,
I look at my garden,
I step onto its bumpy terrain
and know I am one –
joined to its hallowed ground.
Copyright © 2022 by Allison Grayhurst
First published in “Synchronized Chaos” May 2022
You can listen to the poem by clicking below: