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I Want a Garden

I want a garden

It is winter and I am tired
of shoveling snow
chopping wood
living alone
eating pasta, beans, elkmeat
half of which is finally fit
only for the neighbors’ yellow dog
so it is tossed in the snow
for her to glean as she forages by

Listening to the radio in the night
I drift to dream

There I find Dutch scenes of flowers
alive with summer butterflies
worms, water snakes and birds
beetles, bugs and more

I put my fingers in the ground
it moves
I turn up last year’s leaf, manure
gorge my memory with rich organic smells
of monthly slough
lilac
gardenia
a perfect little ear
in moonlight shelled and troughed
winking circlet gold

I remember the flesh of flowers:
tall Iris
dark ocean blue enough to dive into
striped by a strand of gold on white

Pansies bright
varied as bikinis on a beach
bitchy little faces
turn to whisper: A five, tops
as I stroll by

Thin climbing Clematis
running up the wall
are gathered to gossip giddily
thrusting their heads at the sun

Down on my knees in dream I divide
the huddling Hyacinth
and memory of myth fills up my mind
with a perfume clean and like no other

The yellow Mormon Rose
with smiling little Janus faces
two and two and two
are polite as ever
bright as the mountain air itself
they always say Good morning
even in the evening

And on the north the captive Columbine
brought here from the wild they mob
turn their secretive little heads
plot their slow escape back to the hills
to the green glades where they were plundered
plotting little shits, I know

And Poppy
bright but not very bright
always sunny, talks only of the weather
understands even less
good company for a morning moment’s chat
but very little more

Finally I go to Begonia
to lift her dozing head
sleepy, pouty, pliant as a whore
her flesh in my hands, willing
warm in the early morning sun
she whispers sleepily Okay

I roll and wake
it is night and I’m alone

I prise the blinds above my bed
see snow is dumbly falling still

In the garage
leaning against the wall and waiting
the gardening spade folds imaginary arms

I want flowers

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Jon Horton

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