Attic Garden

Left to her own devices she meanders
Into rooms where she discovers doors
Some locked, some warped, and some within plain sight
Beyond which she has scarcely trod the floors.

Within those rooms the dust is sometimes fresh;
And spiders have not spun or left their webs,
And then a cup of grief will swamp her head
With her omissions, leaving bitter dregs.

Neglect of heart to share that warms and feeds
The soil where her love grows, then neglect
Of head and mind and thoughts that fertilize
The seeds that shoot up and between the rows

Neglect of weeding, tending, making signs
That if this space is empty, it belongs
By ancient right still to the householder
And trespassers or thieves commit great wrongs.

But even so, remorse between the walls
Brings salty tears to attics, cellars, yards,
Washing away the dust of dry leafed falls,
Revealing at her feet some fallen cards:

Here is my number, call me any time;
Love you my darling and I think of you;
Do you like this one? It is of my lips,
And this one of my other lips. No rhyme

Or anagram will ever leave its clue,
We shall be hidden, ashes on a grill,
But stir them and the red hot smoldering
You see are our two hearts and souls and will.

These are the messages she finds to read;
These are her thoughts in pained futility;
These are the secrets that she tries to weed
Out of her attic garden’s soft ductility

Of fertile soil for flowers she neglected,
Leaving the ground for seeds that grow and taunt,
Leading to weeds both tall and deep, protected
Both by her absence and their flagrant flaunt

Quick to seduce, determined to survive
Here even here which is her own domain,
Here in her attic where belief could thrive
So she believed, not knowing then the pain

Neglect would bring, accumulating dust
She thought was undisturbed but now reveals
Clues an intruder took root, breaking trust,
Love redefined, lost with no more appeals.


by Linda Hepner

Comments (1)

I feel as if I've been dragged into this attic here then heartlessly shoved back out again at the end. Linda, I love the way you command words, rhyming when you choose as if it's not something you even have to think about (and maybe it really isn't!) . Then there's the punchy rhythm that carries all these visual words, pumping the reader along, the reader finding it impossible to back out of the poem. And then there's the rather harrowing account of the history of the attic. Linda, this poem is sublime. And I'll tell you something else: I learn from you. Warmest regards and a score of 10 from Gina.