by Elaine Cavanaugh


I plant a hedge of wild rose. I leave a row of uncut
pines. I stack new firewood on a hill, sensing
all boundaries and words for ownership are lost
in the language of cemetery stones.

I borrow the earth like a cup of sugar needed
for baking a birthday cake. It comes back to me
in light sprinkled on batches of larkspur,
in field corn, on the steps of a hillside

I climb like a ladder, hand-over-hand,
until the time I can step from
its green rungs
into the sky.

Originally published 1996 in A Wise Woman's Garden Katus Hortus, editor