Garden     (winner, Lucien Stryk Poetry Award)


Last raspberries
picked, we slide on
leaves pressed to slick
under late October rain.

"The last roses wouldn't bloom."
Your whisper fogs
around my head.

Too late in the season
I guess. No spring
for that flower
furled in your womb.
No good reasons to pick.

Late at night you're wide
awake, listening for one more
beat in your breast.
Nothing.

Wrapped in white
you breathe sour strawberries,
dream of Jack Frost's knife
icing your belly.

I shovel earth,
taste rust, and think
red icicles.

Hiding my hand under roots,
I replant every row.
After winter these tulips
will reach for us,
a bed of flame.

1981 John Goss