Two landscapes


I rang the bell. No one answered. Rang the bell again. No one was home.
I let myself through the gate into the overgrown yard, kicking the heads off pale mushrooms. Pale grasses, thin clumps squatted, with mud and gravel scattered like a bad plan.

Thinking I was alone, I sang prisoner songs in the damp sunlight, leading and following two landscapes riding parallel in my forehead, sitting between this unkempt garden and that.

Mine, wild with fruits, wildflowers clinging, conquers gate, fence, window;
faces bloom and stare indoors at us, daring us to wander with them and that is it, you and I and that pumpkin afternoon and the telling of the rhyme and the slow knowing grin. Take my hand, I said, and you did. The grey work, purposeless, endless, flashed by, line after line centering behind, disappeared and the garden went mad, year after year.

Something else is happening in someone’s life, you said, or was that me? Time for gardens to flourish and grow, for rumors to reach up through rich red earth, ears warm with suggestion. All my life I have lived in the shadow of the tower and this moment now is no different. The shadow leans over my shoulder but does not touch. This is the difference between neglected and profuse.

(multiple lines from Marge Piercy referenced here)

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