Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Garden Plots - A Sestina

Garden Plots
(a sestina)

Not the ages of man, but of woman
occupy my thoughts in these passing hours,
passing now with no particular care
whatsoever, if once again the sleep
I seek mocks me tauntingly. So it leaves
me musing on the garden I have made.

Was I ever that bouyant child who made
mud pies out back, copying the woman
who could turn out a pie dotted with leaves
of flaky crust lovingly crafted hours
upon hours, perhaps even in her sleep,
nurturing body and soul with such care?

When in the springtime of my life, what care
did I have for the future? As a maid
I was timeless, ageless, I slept the sleep
of innocence. I blossomed into woman-
hood full of ideas to fill the hours
to bursting, all those green unfurling leaves.

A wandering vine took root and our leaves
entwined to form a sturdier plant, care-
fully nurtured and tended. In the hours
of ernest husbandry as we two made
a garden together, man and woman,
a sprout grew wild and free in our sleepy

valley plot. Seasons pass as dreams in sleep;
a day dawns when our sprout ups-root and leaves
for new vistas. This can hit a woman
hard, this bare nursery. It took some care
to plant anew, germinating plans made
to stuff the once-full but now-hollow hours.

What was fallow bloomed in time; now the hours
weigh lightly on my mind. No time for sleep
it seems, as plantings old and new have made
an oasis in the desert. New leaves
have turned, and if they are gold-tinged I care
not. A mature garden suits this woman.

Happy is the woman who fills the hours
given her with care. When she drifts asleep
to dreams of falling leaves, her peace is made.

--Ellen Shipley (c) 2009

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