A Widow’s Weeds

by Catherine Chandler

In Julia’s garden, nothing’s overgrown;
the phlox and freesias keep their proper place.
No goldenrod, no florid overblown
rugosas spoil the cultivated grace.
In Julia’s garden, hummingbirds and bees
find ample sustenance all summer long;
her suet feeders swing from maple trees
whose visitors repay her gift in song.
It wasn’t always so. I can remember
when dandelions ruled. My mirthful neighbor
could not have cared less, April through September,
about the weather or the fruits of labor.
In Julia’s garden, everything is plum,
her hedge against whatever else may come.

Catherine Chandler was born in New York City and raised in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. In addition to her work as a French and Spanish translator, she has lectured in Spanish at McGill and Concordia Universities in Canada.

Catherine’s poems and Spanish and French translations have been published or are forthcoming in numerous print and online journals, magazines and anthologies in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Catherine was also a finalist in the 2008 Howard Nemerov Sonnet competition. Her poem “Missing” will be published in Measure in 2009.

She is the author of For No Good Reason (The Olive Press, 2008).