My great grandmother
‘Is that you in my garden,
my pea patch?’
She toils, calls to me,
in my misadventures,
The reins are taut,
the headland marked
in this fenced, gateless garden.
Did you see the sprouts burst from the bulb,
feel the tremors when the roots reached out,
hear them suck moisture from the ground
and murmur as they toiled
to penetrate the warming soil?
Did you see the leaves emerge from slender stems
watch the bud form so beauty might be born,
wonder at the hidden store of nectar
as the bee drank its fill?
Did you pick loveliness and place her in a vase,
watch the bloom fade and petals droop
and fall to nourish earth?
Did you proclaim the blessings we shared?
Zinnias bloom within my soul.
Why? I do not know.
Their roots sound growth,
seeds form, buds are born
perpetually, reminding me
I have always been,
will always be,
where is the dichotomy?
The apostrophe has shadowed me ever
since my grade eight teacher took a boy’s
hat — my own — and threw it at the class.
Her reprimand touched upon how Jerusalem
was apostrophized to scale Lebanon, Bashan
and Abe rim, high mountains where one might
gaze at the ruins of the false leaders of Judah.
My teacher said I should submit
an essay, fully rectified, the next day.
O apostrophe, teach me the rules I should
have learned at school. And return my hat.