Click the image above to go to the hi-res file you can then download for your desktop. © 2012 Amber Schley Iragui
T H E S E C R E T G A R D E N
by Rita Dove
I was ill, lying on my bed of old papers,
when you came with white rabbits in your arms;
and the doves scattered upwards, flying to mothers,
and the snails sighed under their baggage of stone . . .
Now your tongue grows like celery between us:
Because of our love-cries, cabbage darkens in its nest;
the cauliflower thinks of her pale, plump children
and turns greenish-white in a light like the ocean’s.
I was sick, fainting in the smell of teabags,
when you came with tomatoes, a good poetry.
I am being wooed. I am being conquered
by a cliff of limestone that leaves chalk on my breasts.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
There is no vegetable garden here. This morning I awoke and couldn't get up. Perhaps if you had appeared with white rabbits and tomatoes I could have been wooed off my bed, but instead my neighbor arrived and took Isaiah to preschool. Alba came and fed Genevieve, did laundry and dishes. And I slept until noon.
Which was wonderful.
Growing children is certainly more taxing than gardening. I am feeling almost myself again, at 5 pm. This is the first Poetry Wednesday hosted by my dear Jules, and the poem by Rita Dove captures a little of the way our home feels on this sickly, drizzly Wednesday—albeit without the cabbage or rabbits or doves. I think we do have some snails nesting in the rocks collecting under Ike's bed.
I stayed up too late last night pasting together a new May desktop image (above, enjoy if you are so inclined to actually click, download, and find the settings necessary to change your desktop image—a task I've been told is rather daunting). Stayed up too late with Photoshop and my anxious Google searches about speech delay and early onset agoraphobia (Genevieve, Ike). This is what mother's do now? Instead of consulting a wise grandmother, we surf parenting or mental health websites, combing disordered pages for clues, or ideally comments from other mothers who've faced the same things? I suppose so. And then we wake up sick.
A cup of tea right now will be just about right.