For Love of Gardening
By Arlene Ang

Aunt Felicia unearths her wedding at my toes
always muddier and sorrier than the leaves she banks in soil.

It's for the digging she does it, she says,
the thumbing for worms, the nagging at weeds.

It ploughs her through the honeymoon loam,
trowels her nights with white veils of insecticide

to guard against the unaccented truth: it would
have ended a mistended plot under some man's florid hands.

It is in our roots - at this she rakes me with her eyes -
something in the water, the crumbly earth or both

make for the germination of wind-stranded pollen a kind
of Venus flytrap which devours the most carefully plotted plants.

I squish a worm with my heel: Mother's at her 5th divorce,
I'm at my 3rd. Aunt Felicia doesn't know shit from compost.


Arlene Ang lives in Venice, Italy as a translator and web designer.
She is also the Italian editor of Niederngasse
( Her poetry has recently appeared in
Sidereality, Scrivener's Pen and Sometimes City. Recent awards
include: 2002 Eros & Thanatos Prize Winner (Absinthe Literary Review)
and Clean Sheets 2003 Poetry Contest 2nd Place Winner.


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