2014/09/23

pruning

the crisp crack, sometimes a pop, of dry wood
the sliced tongue green stem
cutting with one hand, discarding with the other

you crept up on me
under the branches away from the light
years of dust     spiders’ webs
and the empty nests of wrens
five years dead wood
you joined me there in the spell of repetition
cutting with one hand, discarding with the other

I saw you reaching out with your left hand open
sweeping under the top growth
cutting with your right hand, discarding with the left
snapping long stems into smaller ones
both hands meeting in prayer around the dry sticks
making an even stack
with one hand, with the other

together we filled the bin     raked the space
allowed the sun to reach in onto old wood

five years dead and you
are still teaching me how to garden
with one hand, with the other


Josephine Clarke (Western Australia)

First published in Westerly

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