A friend from the city came to visit me,
I am a suburbanite (she thought me wild and free!)
She went into raptures over every flower and tree-
And called them Nature’s handiwork:
I remembered the original stony soil–
The digging, the clearing, the planting, the toil–
The seeding, the weeding,
The willing the plants up from the ground.
I now looked around:
To glory in my victory over-the furry worms, the slugs and bugs;
The ants , the virus that mottles the leaf;
And also recalled my angry grief
When a fruit-laden fig was felled by a gale.
I remember channeling away monsoon rains
From rotting roots,
And prayers to ward off the scorching sun–
I didn’t think my friend could understand
The joy and sorrow of working on one’s land;
So I smiled at her notion of unearned bliss–
For a garden, as I know, is sheer artifice!!