It Ain’t Midnight But It’s Dawn   Leave a comment

It Ain’t Midnight But It’s Dawn


met a man from Savannah

said his town wasn’t like

midnight in any garden good or evil


though he’s heard a rooster crow

felt a child’s hand on his shoulder

as he helped her dress

one small foot lifts then steps

then the other fresh soft foot

like a slippered dream

cotton t-shirt slides down raised arms

this is the garden of soft flowers


many ask how does your garden grow?

Mary, Mary quite contrary

I might have answered that I’ve never made cheese

or carried a basket on my head

so never lost its contents

and all that might mean

I’ve shot a gun but not to kill

though once I plucked a chicken

never went to jail

but I’ve seen fish gulp


I’ve cracked an egg and watched cartoons

pulled fuzz from between my toes

wrecked a car and seen falling stars

solar eclipses and three dot ellipses


after surgery I  felt the garden hands

of the nurse      I’ve shaped bread into bits of buttered heaven

heard a son sing at his mother’s funeral

danced without a partner at a BBQ

sang without pitch

never drank a  mint julep

I’ve grown leaves with yellow tips

let others burn in the sun

carried a basket of vegetables

to the kitchen

reds, greens, yellows, and that color only eggplant is

Mary Strong Jackson



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