Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Garden Wearing White

White Shrub Rose


Solomon's Seal


Most of my garden is in the shade of maple trees, though I have sun in a small plot in front and and on the east side of the house. I like the white blossoms. In sun, they set off the colors of other flowers, in shade they reflect back light. Right now I have white lily-of-the valley, old-fashioned Bridal Wreath (Spirea), thorny white roses, trillium, Solomon Seal, and anemone. There are the variegated green and white hostas, the snow-on-the mountain, and the silvery soft lambs ears. To me, they are more beautiful than snow.

The Garden
Mark Strand

for Robert Penn Warren

It shines in the garden,
in the white foliage of the chestnut tree,
in the brim of my father’s hat
as he walks on the gravel.

In the garden suspended in time
my mother sits in a redwood chair:
light fills the sky,
the folds of her dress,
the roses tangled beside her.

And when my father bends
to whisper in her ear,
when they rise to leave
and the swallows dart
and the moon and stars
have drifted off together, it shines.

Even as you lean over this page,
late and alone, it shines: even now
in the moment before it disappears.

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