by Loretta Diane Walker

 "I keep having this dream that there is a garden  
growing inside my chest, under the bones."  
~ Melissa Studdard 
Tonight is an eye feast: 
the honeysuckle climbing   
over pickets in a long chain-link fence, 
the soft swirl of wind teasing    
the topmost branches of a mulberry.   
Dusk, dying a blue-headed Friday   
a deep shade of ebony.    
How crafty this summer’s eve!
Shadows make worn and broken things beautiful—   
like this dilapidated barn.      
A family of tumbleweeds sits in the middle  
of the cracked concrete floor rocking.   
The aged slats look like a rib cage; 
fortitude engraved its initials in rotting wood.   
At Freedom Park, a jittery frog leaps 
from the moon-stamped pond then disappears.    
Who can resist such gifts, or hold happiness hostage 
when this West Texas desert offers such splendor?  
Look at this sky’s buffet of delicious stars!
Their champagne-light drips from a flute of darkness
into the unprotected yawn of a scalped pasture.

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