The Witch Gardener


The Witch Gardener

By Joni Scanlon

A summer evening rain falls gently,
Stroking leaves and dampening soil
Weeds yield to the two hands pulling,
Yet a few offer most satisfying struggle
Defeated, these go into sack reverently

The door swings open
It’s raining, he says
She turns her face heavenward
It feels good, she murmurs

Bare hands extract weeds one by one
Hours pass and her bundle
Now fills two paper sacks she drags to curb
Until her footsteps feel a new patch
Requiring immediate attention

Once again, the door opens
It’s 10:30, he says
Witch gardener, she whispers, guided
By touch of hand, shine of moon

Her thoughts travel lightspeed ahead,
Yet she moves, cloaked by darkness,
Inch by inch, rhythmically feeling moist earth
Mind absorbed on this silent night by
Thoughts, memories, words she might have said

For a last time, he opens the door
Looks at night sky, time honored by lovers,
Spies silver moon peeking from mystery cloud drift
Steps outside to look up, kisses her dirt-stained lips

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