A garden that once was


I sit


I see the weeds that have grown quickly through the soil, reaching up towards the blueness

Puffs of dainty seeds are ready to increase the invasion

The chosen plants struggle, and I long to grip the hose and bring relief to the begging soil

It is not possible


I look at the dry heads that once were dancing daffodils

Without intervention they soaked up the rain and sent a burst of colour to please my eye

Then yielding, withered and died


Petunias no longer show their glory

They lay hidden, shrivelled beneath the mess of tangled grass

Labour canÕt be enjoyed and nature is showing its strength

I turn the wheels of my confinement and shed a tear

Broad expanse of lawn no longer exist

Only flowers not wanted, and grass heads that flap in the breeze


I remember days of joy

Digging and planting with hope of new seasons


A peep of colour defies the brittle stems

They too are weeds but nature has no distinction

Dandelions bounce with colourful determination

And the bees work at the miracle that starts right here


I reach out

Nothing welcome can be touched

The weeds bend beneath my wheels 

I see where IÕve been and am not displeased by the destruction


With thistles weaving through the thorns, the rose stands defiant

Spreading perfume of delight, and showing a spirit of which IÕm proud

It is a pleasant moment

I savour it


I know my best was done when vigour and youth abounded

But now I have only memories

Of a garden that once was






Hidden in the folds of skirts are dreams that cannot be

Favourite blue jeans  

Lie where they fell from her tender frame

I cannot touch what once were hers

Memories are tucked beneath cotton and rayon

The pockets still hold her spirit


Some days I stand quietly wishing for her presence

A soft kiss

A gentle touch

Just one more precious time

I hear my breath short with anguish

My palms face upwards as I ask Ôfor what?Õ


The dust builds over teenage clutter

Emptiness pervades her space

I close my eyes

Concealing the view of the pillow

Dented where innocence slept

I must forsake the room


A life not fully used

Taken in a moment of steel upon steel

Shattering glass caused the sound of heartbreak

Claimed by senseless speed

Sirens announced pain

Then all went numb


When agony becomes acceptance

The room may be my solace

Her face in the frame may laugh once more

The softness of her prettiest things may bring strength

Memories of shared joy

May show me how to care again


© Barbara Gurney


Bio:  She has previously published Footprints of a Stranger (Ginninderra Press 2013) and LifeÕs Shadows (Ginninderra Press 2015).  Please visit her website at www.barbaragurney.webs.com.