This is the second of three Garden poems I wrote for and dedicated to my friend Ned L. The first is here. This, like the first poem and the third, which I'll post next week, has its genesis in a short prose piece I wrote and posted at Our Cancer several months ago, as summer began to wane. In our metaphorical Our Cancer Garden are the seeds and flowers of hope, renewal, and remembrance.
Sign Posts and Name Calling
Our garden mostly has bloomed
as it was meant to,
sometimes has grown cold,
even wilted on occasion.
Always it comes back,
the disarray of studio colors
our ransom's worth of cure.
So many charming gardeners tend
this expanse in unassuming pose.
Invisible as they want to be, mostly
digging deep in earth matter.
Numbered on entering the gates
but otherwise never known,
shifting their way along criss-crossing paths
secreted among sky-touching oaks.
Some bide time just long enough
to remove thick growth whose time's gone past,
adding necessary diversions
where rough grounds can neither
be cleared nor held.
More stay after hours,
backs stiff and fingers sore
from uprooting plants whose thorns
not so easily let go.
Eventually we all reach the through-ways
to longed-for places:
one signed Hope,
one deemed Renewal,
another declared Let Me Not Forget.
We pace the labyrinth with deliberation,
counting step by brick-worn step
the dates forever committed to our marking.
In the anniversary soon to be celebrated,
our garden uncovers the promise
where light is brightest
and canopy lushest.
Visitors crowd to get in; we pause to get out
the names of the ones we miss
not with empty hearts,
in whose hands we've placed ourselves
Copyright 2009 Maureen E. Doallas
All Rights Reserved.