- Grandmother's Garden
In later years, she sat here rarely. Most of the time,
she lay on her bed in a darkened room where
the air was musty and sunlight never shone.
As well as I could, I kept it growing
for her. She could no longer do it for herself.
Yet her life was linked to this place.
I watered her orchids of golden shower,
unchoked her potted plants from weeds. With a stone
I crushed the life from snails and fed them
to the earth. After storms, I helped fallen shrubs
to climb to light again.
Sometimes a sunbird would come to sip nectar
from my grandmother's flowers, and every New Year
the kumquat branches would fill with orange fruit.
In the years that passed, not a single bonsai died.
A tree can live forever.
She would go more easily, I sensed,
if she knew that the life here would endure,
long after she herself had left.