FINE ART > Gardener Series

The Gardener
I haven’t talked to you about
a dark space I dug up.
Clods and rocks I can pick out of soil,
blue veined clay I can nourish,
weeds yank up, shade, cut back.
But this
hollow where no seed is meant to grow
astounds. I go back to basics,
trusting my hands to find the dirt
as it always was, humid and maternal,
easily worked to hatch seeds,
But this
breach of earth voids every breathing
speck so that the spade in my hand weighs
more than death and the leaves that
I touch are still born.

Tell me,
must I keep tending,
must I turn this
blank into myself and vanish
or is the hole the entrance
into some new ground that is yet
familiar, tilled and fertile, vast
as my loss, tenderly sown with this?

by Suzanne Underwood Rhodes

The Gardener oil on canvas 36" x 48"
The Gardener
oil and charcoal on canvas
36" x 48"
2011