Poetry Friday: "Christmas Garden"
(For Randi Gray Christensen)
After months of guiding young brothers
abandoned to raw cries of the streets,
years of returning Garvey's name to the page,
a lifetime of worrying about my children,
I limp home to my neglected garden
in late December as the evening sun
settles on the forehead of broken
Madonnas nestled in red mulch.
Palm fronds break crisply between my fingers
smothering delicate orchids latched
on the side of the avocado that offered
shade in summer but not enough
for lavenders that withered in August heat.
Yet in a far corner, a poinsettia that I'd written
off in early March after caterpillars
had chewed green from the stems,
leaving stalks in the shadow of their wings
has bloomed near the dry fencepost:
the fire in its leaves as impossible
as the idea of our redemption.
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