From morning on the tallest days
a humble woman stretches low,
to work beneath the speckled rays:
she gathers limbs and pushes strays—
the brittle leaves from fall’s last show.
All through the summer space she’ll toil
to give the clustered plants a view.
On stiffened knees she surveys loyal
the crowded den of stalk and soil
to yield more ground for one or two.
Her graying hair the warm breeze blows.
Wind gently bends the oaks which stare:
her softened arms part to expose
the arching hosta stems she’s chose—
from single plant she forms a pair.
And timid lilies watch the art:
this hunch-backed woman giving birth.
A spade digs sure a hole to start.
With care she nurses stems apart:
one plant—now two—fills back the earth.
Dividing hostas times the tides.
This call of garden work’s the prayer.
The strength of mother lies inside;
to these—her young—her reach confides
to halve the burdens of despair.
While empty home behind her sighs:
the haunting hush of void’s distress.
And from its windows peer the eyes
of sons who’ve gone their lives to press.
Now verdant twins mend loneliness.