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Maya's Garden Party
In the afterglow of a balmy August day,
party guests are beginning to depart.
Wind chimes announce the latecomer’s arrival.
“Would you like dessert?” Maya asks her last guest,
who has paused at a tray of plundered pastries.
“Oh, no,” she responds, “just coffee, please.”
And do you know my son died in June?
The garden is resplendent with hydrangea,
begonias, mums, and a rainbow of gladioli,
the petals dancing in a red-gold fire.
Maya’s dog chases a ribbon of butterflies.
“Isn’t it gorgeous?” exclaims the hostess,
attempting to engage the visitor.
“Oh, yes,” she responds, “it’s breathtaking.”
But do you know I’ve buried my boy?
Maya’s son strums a love ballad,
holding the guitar in a soft embrace.
His wavy hair elicits a shock,
pricking the raw skin of memory.
“Isn’t it a pretty song?” remarks Maya,
suspending the young mother’s reverie.
“Oh, yes,” she responds, “it’s beautiful.”
But my Nicky will never hold a woman.
Nature is busy lifting shovels of dusk.
The guest hoes a garden where sunsets bark,
dogs wag petals, mums play melodies…
and boys become men.
Maya again offers her dessert.
“Thanks,” she sighs. “I’ll have the chocolate cake.
It’s my Nicky’s favorite.”
Ellen A. Grazioso teaches literature in a public high school in New Jersey. She especially enjoys an elective poetry course for juniors and seniors. Additionally, Ellen is a professional folk singer and lyricist. Her favorite activities are writing, recording, and karaoke. A passion for folk music and narrative poetry has greatly influenced her work. “I like that Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature,” she writes, “because his prestigious win officially honors folk music and gives me an excuse to analyze his lyrics in my poetry class. Monday through Thursday we study famous poets but on Friday, it’s the genius of Dylan or other iconic singer-songwriters.”
All Rights revert to author one year after initial publication.