The Garden Out My Window (prompt 24)

Through the blinds I used to see a tall Norwegian maple

with leaves the color of tanned leather

bigger than my outspread hand.

It had a scar along the trunk, a long vertical burn

where lightning struck one afternoon

without rain or storm.


We liked the yard a little wild.

The tall, straight nut trees of ancient age

blocked the sunlight from the gardens

so the undergrowth was straggly,

except for the honeysuckle that grew

in wild abundance, trying to dominate

much stronger plants, and the thick moss

that grew instead of grass.


One spring we planted a thousand bulbs.

Two hundred daffodils along the stone wall

behind the maple, and three hundred tulips

around the maple’s base and over toward

the steps by the steep driveway.

They were splendid when they bloomed.

Violent, bright colors against winter browns.

The rest were crocus, and we tucked them away

in every place we could dig a hole in the front.

They bloom first, and we wanted the joy widespread.

Unfortunately, the grey squirrels wanted food.


The crocuses were a treasure hunt they never tired of.

So we planted ground cover that liked the deep shade

and let the wild life come and go as it would.

Sometimes there were deer. One day a mother turkey

and six babies. Another time rabbits.

Occasionally a ground hog or a fox.

And when the snow was over for sure, we had

nests of red chipmunks in the stones,

with their little flirty tails twitching and shrill barks.

They drove the dog crazy.


But it was the birds I loved. We had more than I could name.

Cardinals, bluejays, finches, nuthatches, sparrows, woodpeckers,

owls, hawks, and wrens, mockingbirds and nightingales to trill in glory.

Peace lived there, among nature’s bounty and beauty,

in the rhythm of life and the seasons.

A time of joy and blessing,

a time of true contentment.

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