She stands alone in the center of the garden
unplanned, unplanted--there by her own volition
her heavy head demurely cocked to one side
ringed with a bright halo of startling yellow.
I think of her as Mother Earth towering
over all the variations in her kingdom:
of vines, stalks, pods and sprouts,
sharing space with bugs, bees and bunnies.
The breeze ruffles her pedaled skirts
raising them Marilyn Monroe style
as if to share the joy of a delicious day
in her walled garden of delight.
Her 8-ft frame admires the low growing
tomatoes, basil, beets, beans,
potatoes and peas surrounded by
raspberrry stalks and asparagus ferns.
A volunteer herself, she is as startled as I,
by the surprise crop of winter squash
now vining every surface and spawning
butternut every few feet.
Her bright smile seems to foster growth,
presiding over the autumn red potato harvest,
the delight of berries and Indian corn
and me. I stand amazed at the explosive greatness
wought by God’s gifts of sun and rich soil, nitrogen and rain,
blessing Mother Earth’s domain and my paltry labor.
With thanks we accept this hearty harvest, knowing
frost will soon descend, laying fallow this square of earth.
We conspire to endure, even in winter
gathering sights and sounds into barns,
sustaining long sedate, gray days
transforming them into seeds of hope.
Farewell my Garden Goddess--
your seeds and blessings will last long after
your frame weathers gray
leaving enduring images of your sunny smile
and promise of more sunflower-kissed, summer days.
C. Rottman, 9/10/18