Alison Cassidy (6th August,1945 / Melbourne, Australia)
! ! Dirt Under the Fingernails
I'd ignored the garden
while you were mending.
Even thought of moving
Hardly felt the scorch
of summer's heat -
(except during the firestorm)
and Monet's autumn palette
But as winter wrapped the house in mist
and you sat once more
in the driver's seat of your recovery,
I donned my Redbacks* and gloves,
and began on the onion-weed.
What an earthy way to scratch the creative itch!
What a perfect blend of violence and nurturing.
What a singular chance to grunt and strain,
to coax and cajole
again and again.
As time and order grow,
so I become more ruthless,
attacking fatter and fatter branches;
Till the woodpile doubles and trebles in size
and my face is flaming.
Now spring blossoms,
and I walk on new paths,
breathing change into my lungs.
The familiar star of anticipation
twinkles within me.
Today is raining
and yesterday's camellias
are settling happily into their new homes.
I wonder what tomorrow will bring.
*A brand of workboots made in Australia.
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