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Eve Overlooking the Garden



Published May 23, 2007 at 4:00 a.m.

  • Matthew Thorsen

The garden has ignited.

It's feverish. Even the white clematis

flutters with sun,

and the red lilies and coral bells

burn back at it. Windblown petals

of cardinals flash

across the buttery primroses:

a good year for gardens.

Everything shines.

I write this standing at my window.

I don't go down into the garden.

From here I see everything

at once, all the flowers trapped

in color, in their showy, slow

ignition - petal, pistil, leaf and stamen

separating off. Perhaps

there is a way

out of such fiery

gorgeousness. It must

be wearing. Even at night

when I've gone blind

I hear a splendid confusion

of harmonics, what only can be

the sharp yellowing

of gloriosas, the speckle-

throated oranging

of the Canada lilies.

- John Engels

From Recounting the Seasons:

Poems, 1958-2005, University of Notre Dame Press.