By Erika Meitner
after Anthony Haughey's "Settlement"
Garden of rock.
Garden of brick and heather.
Garden of cranes with their hands raised
as if they know the yellow answer:
to gather together—safety in numbers.
Garden of drywall frames, holes for windows
punched out like teeth. Garden of bar fights.
Garden of rubble and gaps,
spectral for-sale signs knocked
from wooden posts, bleached down
to numbers ending in gardens of overgrown lots.
We are falling into ruin, garden
of scaffolding and shale and gravel—
give us back our peace: a half-built garden
of theft, treasures hidden in darkness,
newspapers crumpled on subfloors telling us
to hold fast to that which is good.
Garden of rebar and saplings with trunks
encased in corrugated piping
because many animals can girdle
a tree's bark quickly: deer, stray cats, rabbits.
Garden of Tyvek wrap loosed
and flapping like a ship's sail
in the gales, in the sheeting storms.
Hanging laundry left out in the garden
past darkness, fruit from the tree
of human-ness: socks, shirts, underpants.
Garden of long exposures, half-light, traces
that empty themselves in tire treads running
like ladders through red clay mud:
the dirt from which we are formed
and crushed and formed again.
Another quickie because we got home late again! Paul and I spent Sunday in Richmond, where we met Cheryl at Maymont and walked through the gardens and regional zoo. It was very hot but there were lots of flowers and animals! Then we met Lin at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, which has its annual butterfly exhibit in the conservatory and giant Lego sculptures around the gardens.
We were going to go to Mexico Restaurant for dinner but it was closed. Instead we went to Thai Flavor next door, which was really good -- they make vegetarian curries without fish sauce, so Paul and I split red and yellow curries and swapped some of Cheryl's ginger tofu. Then we drove home in moderate traffic and picked up Maddy, who had had her first evening of training at the movie theater!