In the greenhouse, I gave myself to somebody,
saying things I never thought I'd say,
despite the hardness of the wooden table and the potting soil in my hair.
I can't remember why I thought it was a good idea, though,
or why I thought that was the place to consummate our love,
or even who it was, because
the shovel was handy and knocked all that right out of my head.
Not long ago, a week maybe--time is fuzzy for me now--
we had tadpoles in the puddles the flood left behind.
As the water dried up, things got dicey, so I decided to try to save them.
Looking into my bucket, the yard man said, "You've only got sticks in there, Maggie."
He was right, and it was only the moss on one side of each of them
that made them seem green and in need of me.
I did manage to save one tadpole, though.
An apron pocket makes a fine frog house,
and though I walked around wet to the skin on that side,
I felt good about saving a life, a remarkable life besides.
I told Mr. John about my frog, and even though something
in the back of my head told me it was a mistake, I took it out,
just to show him. I screamed when he did what he did,
and we stood there for the longest time, both spitting mad.
Later, I took pansies from the side garden
and arranged them in a circle around the small hole I'd dug.
My skirt got muddy and something started coming back to me.
Some of the pansies were purple, others yellow;
looking at them put me in mind of my room, the mirror there,
my bed, and the door I always insisted be locked
against the arc of the sun, like a bucket swung too weakly, and too late.
for Susie's challenge at Real Toads.