I’m sorry I threw it out.
I should have discussed it with you.
You must have noticed the edges,
food stuck in the creases.
I found this disgusting.
And the smell, even after scrubbing.
It’s been two days
and still you pick each kibble
from your new red bowl. You carry
them, one by one, like some ancient ritual,
from bowl to mat and back again.
Your tail hangs heavy with the weight of loss.
I cannot bear it.
I spent four and a half hours this morning
at the recycling center. They think me a madwoman.
There were times, I know, when I was lost from sight,
flailing in bins of plastic. I understand bets were placed.
You have your bowl back.
held it belly hot in the palm of her hand, grey-blue and white.
She remembers the psychic at the market in the hot sun of Sedona,
the one who told her that she would grow beautiful gardens, but never children.
She stood at the roadside later and counted the devil’s horn,
picked its purple heads and planned to boil them later for tea, but never did.
She knew the mesa natives: yellow bee plant, blackfoot daisy,
scarlet creeper, desert blazing star. But she would never say their names out loud.
An old man gave her a small, carved fetish dusted with red rock.
She carried it in a pouch around her neck, eventually buried it in her garden,
braided her hair with desert willow, praying it would bloom, but it never did.
She minds the cliffrose, keeps it lush for the deer, knowing their need.
She imagines beyond the stone, waits for the fall
when the sharp shinned hawks visit her gardens, lay promise
at her feet. She knows their journey, seeking only sun. A place
where color claims every season, filling up space between the stones.
Sandy Martin lives in BC on a small island in the Salish Sea between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. She shares her life with her husband, an everchanging number of dogs and two donkeys. She has worked in creative nonfiction, short stories and, her first love, poetry. Sandy is currently working on her first novel.
See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops, weekly online writing classes, and weekend retreats in, Alliston, Bolton, Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Georgina, Guelph, Hamilton, Jackson’s Point, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Midland, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Southampton, Sudbury, Toronto, Windsor, Woodstock, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York Region, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.