Night Gardening

The rain found us in warm early winter near the night garden—sitting in the doorway-frame— hearing, not each other—but only rain. Until she, as I begged her—came to reclaim my wild-river hair, cleanse my face of contamination of days gone by—and finally: erase me again.

It’s so much easier this way—without the time stamp, paperwork, and passwords I can’t remember—without the delay of another’s footfall, notebook of demands. The Christmas tree and Prince of Poetry did not love me—as perfectly as needed: a collaboration [tennis game] of pure poetry.

Without even a note–I left him at the train tracks. Yes, how impulsive and rude of me–but I could not articulate my need of night travel, stay with my suitcase of unfinished poems.

I gathered the rusted tools of my grandmother and set to work before dawn, who once again like magic clockwork, would climb the dark trellis of the horizon, lift all the secrets of the fallen kale and lettuce seeds, dahlia and geranium tubers, peony roots;

all the dead growth with my misshapen hand, I would snap off—the brown paper florets of the once-limelight hydrangea, the frost-nipped phlox, the barren butterfly trees. It is often difficult to differentiate the living from the dead; the latter holding the former down, begging for company.

From the distance of the neighbor’s property, the owl punctuated rain with its own articulation of night. I shed my bulky sweater before I climbed the dog fence and privacy wall–to peer over into someone else’s world—where I learned the loneliness of scholars, philosophers, and widows.

If you are looking for me, wait patiently. Leave the tray of coffee and crumpets with my mother’s apricot jam. I am smoking my grandfather’s pipe–wrestling my night thoughts, intense emotions that flood and fill with a music of follow; a wave that is dangerous and sublime.

Spit out in another realm, I am finishing all the poems before the hourglass loses its silk, and the clocks in my House give up their hands.

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