Rilke, your garden


By Melissa Boston

Sudden harshness
of a winter snow.
Sundial’s shadow-
hand ticks softly
against the porous
gray stone. Empty
trees. All is fallen.
It wanted to
remain intact:
leaves to branches,
umbels of wild
carrot, fennel.
How one feels
a small life’s shortness,
yet one still feels
the vastness past
the ha-ha’s mark.
You don’t survive in me
because of memories;
and he returned
to breaking frozen
soil. Everything is long
gone. The west, now
yellow and violet,
reminded him
of something
once living, warm:
the last green
touching blue.


Melissa Boston currently resides in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Her work has appeared in PMS, Moon City Review, The Fourth River Review, Blue Mesa Review, and I-70 Review. Her work is forthcoming in These Fragile Lilacs. This is her second publication with Bird's Thumb.