The Gardener Exhibits His Work

The Gardener Exhibits His Work

“Let me show you my garden,” so I follow him
out the back patio. Aromas overwhelm the air –
vines of roses pruned, trimmed, and trained to climb
the trellis, blooms loosed like curls. Lilac groves multiply
their purple flowers, precision mathematic, the scent
of infinity on the breeze. The garden is strategic –
violas, azaleas, peonies, lilies, delphiniums,
chrysanthemums, holly – color for each season.

I am in awe – extravagance, investment, creativity! –
turn to tell him so but he is still walking,
ducking under split rails. I sprint after him,
leap rows of recent tulip cultivars, spy a line
of weeping cherries, orchards heavy in fruit.
He’s in the field now, weeds waist-high.
Hands stroke grasses in seed, shattercain,
poison hemlock, Canada thistle, dandelions,
Queen Anne’s lace. I glance over my shoulder
at the ordered garden behind the fence.

“What do you think?” he asks, spreading his arms
to encompass all this timeless wildness, this freedom.


I just had an idea for another poem that might be a little more entertaining and perhaps less predictable than this one. I’ll see what I can put together tonight 😉

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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