Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Winter garden

My garden sleeps under three feet of snow.
The dogs exhume the mice who sleep there
and leave their frozen selves
lying on the snow, tiny pink feet
and thread whiskers perfectly preserved.

Death does not hold winter
but encapsulates it
resting with the seeds of poisonous vines
nightmares ready to awaken with the spring thaw.

Delphiniums wait in their cold dormitory
steeped in potential to put tired ones to rest
not gently, not with whispered lullabyes
or a brushed kiss on a downy forehead,
but roughly-- violent convulsions,
an agonizing rush to a bitter end.

Death should not come until spring
when the ground softens enough for the digging
of a hasty bed for the dead,
deep enough to ward off the dogs’
curious excavations.
Now, my garden sleeps.

Rachel Westfall
March 4, 2008

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