poem: Tending the Garden of a Suicide Victim

poem: Tending the Garden of a Suicide Victim

A Chapter by Marie Anzalone

That which is wild and unruly

   has overgrown its more civilized companions.

Goldenrod in lackluster brushy plumes

    and sour yellow sorrel, tasting of lemons.

         Some sad twining vine.

 

I did not know you.

   But I can tell you planted with care,

 and what you attempted to cultivate here

was not comprehended

     by those who loved you;

          and in the pervasive neglect

it seems your vision was lost.

 

My hands caress the stems of your Rudbeckia,

   trying to realign their lanky, desultory forms

          where their delicate beauty

was engulfed by choking vines, and I wonder

  if better tending would have kept you

 in this world a little longer.

 

I sadly ponder what vision made you leave,

   and ask if the slow encroachment of weeds

       could have been pruned for you in time.

   or if anyone even noticed your need to be tended.

And I hope you can see me here

       attempting to give love to your efforts,

 

trying to make your mark on this world

     just a little tiny bit more substantial.

May this garden grow in health for many more years,

             and may your children understand, in time,

that sometimes gardens in other worlds

             need new caretakers, too.




© 2012 Marie Anzalone



Author's Note

Marie Anzalone
The other day I was asked to care for the garden planted by a wife and mother of two who decided to leave the world early. It was a humbling and pensive experience, and I wondered abouot the relation between how people tend living things and how they handle emotions. I did not know this perosn, but it seemed to me she must have been trying for something permanent and loving in her life if she was planting a garden of perennials before she died.

My Review

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Featured Review

I can see you through the prism of your poem, walking and tending this garden. To be remembered and memorialized by the seeds you've planted, and the flowers that then grew? well, there is a whole forrest full of symbolism growing in there. I like how you are speaking to this person while brushing your hand against the Rudbeckia, the vines and the lemons. And reading this poem I envision the now gone gardener a ghost; walking behind you. As you prune the roses, and turn the dirt... An extraordinary write, Raquelita

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

5 Years Ago

Thank you, as always, for a kind and thoughtful review. I can tell you that being out there was over.. read more



Reviews

I can see you through the prism of your poem, walking and tending this garden. To be remembered and memorialized by the seeds you've planted, and the flowers that then grew? well, there is a whole forrest full of symbolism growing in there. I like how you are speaking to this person while brushing your hand against the Rudbeckia, the vines and the lemons. And reading this poem I envision the now gone gardener a ghost; walking behind you. As you prune the roses, and turn the dirt... An extraordinary write, Raquelita

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

5 Years Ago

Thank you, as always, for a kind and thoughtful review. I can tell you that being out there was over.. read more
nicely done...makes me ponder...and on the other end of the spectrum makes me consider starting my next avacado tree which i've been putting off

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A sensitive treatment of a real difficult subject, a classic look at a universal poetic
theme. Not only superbly written, but great because it`s real and you believe every line.Great.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I read your note first and near broke.. what an overwhelming sadness for someone to let go... and in the midst of all that beauty.. You give a hope for those left behind.. wondering.. even though this sorrow sways like the sea...

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Such a sadness pouring its tears on the garden .. and you write as always sensitively, subtely. So many people live shadowy lives, pretending they have the right conditions for survival. Others however loving, fail to see they need something extra and immediate. And when it's not forthcoming, why then, their heart beats fall, petal by petal.
That dear woman more than likely planted her own memorial - and in bright colours.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is a truly inspirational poem, sad in terms of what has happened, heart-breaking but your words show that she had planned to live and capture something of her love :)

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is so beautiful I had to re-read it twice over. Normally I like to leave reviews of far more substance, but really all I can think after this one is pretty much "wow". Your language is stunning, and the sentiment behind this one is breathtaking.

Favourite lines:

[...] and I wonder
if better tending would have kept you
in this world a little longer.

and ask if the slow encroachment of weeds
could have been pruned for you in time.
or if anyone even noticed your need to be tended.


And absolutely by far the bit that gut punches me the most:

and may your children understand, in time,
that sometimes gardens in other worlds
need new caretakers, too.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

ty for why you wrote this...poignant ..My friend needed to leave but was reluctant...I suppose the move she made was finished and that spoke of finality to her...she was lonely once again for her husband and decided to let her pills take the pain...too many pills took her life I suppose...where that decision lay ..i'm not sure and probably never will be...I just pray God accepts her home..and that her God reality is set straight...can a suicide be chance is my question...pain can be .

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 25, 2011
Last Updated on August 23, 2012

A Pilgrimage in Epistles: Poems as Letters and Observations


Author

Marie Anzalone
Marie Anzalone

Xela, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala



About
Bilingual poet, essayist, novelist, and technical writer working in Central America. "A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, .. more..

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