Thursday, June 21, 2007

On Clearing Sr.Jean Marie's Garden

Thirty years ago, I watched her lumber out to the grove.
She was old then, with a hump on her back.
In full habit and veil, she hauled gallons of water
to keep the lilies alive.

Thirty years later, I’m back.
Her name is on a grave in the cemetery nearby.
I took my rake and started the search.

First I found stones large as bread loaves
which she placed around each house-sized space.
Under decades of leaves,
daffodils pushed, blankets of hyacinths,
duvets of lilies of the valley.

By July I had found the twelve concrete stars,
five-pointed, large as my hand,
arranged in the ground in a room-sized oval.
Within, egg sized stones embedded, described a cross
entwined with the letter M.
She had made the design of the back of her Medal,
enclosed it with a fine brick border.
In which heat soaked summer had she made this prayer?

Now Spring, her gardens bloom profusely,
filling the woods with fragrance.
Virginia bluebells flourish
inside the Miraculous Medal.

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