Poetry Daily: http://www.poems.com/

Jardin du Poète

The garden's ancient walls are low and broken
and thus (yes, "even at my age") easy
to scale. They say this was a garden Goethe
adored. I see him sketching: helichrysum,
angelica (whose name reminds him of . . . )
and focused: parsing genus, species, love.
I'm sure he knew that cypress is the tree
that marks Italian cemeteries, death
embodied in the dark green spears that gesture
toward heaven. I inhale : crisp vetiver,
grapefruit and orange so pungent that I'm thrust
back to another garden, where I learned
of bitter oxymoron in the sweet
and luscious fruit he fed me, piece by piece;
the faintly musky warmth of his embrace;
the ancient stone walls crumbled, and my trust.

Moira Egan

Criterion Books

To view this poem online, visit the Poetry Daily archive at http://www.poems.com/archive.php
View a large-print version of this poem