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!!



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