The Garden in Her Own Mind

When the doors to the world
slammed shut
she entered the garden,
when she could no longer walk
she knelt in the dirt,
when her muscles atrophied
she planted bulbs,
when she lost a husband
she mulched the bougainvillea,
in the winter of her life
she pored over seed catalogues,
when her children left
she lavished herself on roses,
as her lungs collapsed
she sniffed lilacs.
This is how she lived,
this is how she moved
in the ever-narrowing gyre
of the garden,
eventually retreating
all the way to the bud,
the sprout, the seed.
And then we didn’t see her.
And then we forgot her.
And she forgot herself.
But the garden remembered,
which she herself had planted,
the garden in her own mind.
Where she rests now
like burlaped root stock
in some world beyond.


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