She pushes her rusty wheelbarrow under a milky sun.

Shadow of a humped crone yawns before her.

October-chills tweak her ruddy cheeks.

White hairs peak from her red scarf like kids on a holiday

She pauses.

Memories of plantings, feedings, waterings burgeon her heart.

July’s riot of reds, oranges, and whites quickens her spirit.

Ahead lie rows of her spent garden:

mums, yellowed to white,

marigolds, splayed upon the damp earth,

naked stalks of red salvia, impotent in the biting winds,

and so much more.

She stoops, slowly.

Mud-stained hands prune snaking rose branches, rip withered vines.

Tangled roots gasp, suddenly naked.

Beleaguered blossoms dangle from the lip of her wheelbarrow.

Ravens squawk.

Hours pass.

Musk steams from the riven furrows, blanketed with compost.

Again, she awaits Spring’s blush.