My Private Garden

Holding And Being Held By The Breath: A Solitude
by Maj Ragain
In Response to My Private Garden

reading by Jessica Damen

reading by Olivia Hollander

There are no large private gardens.
They must fit within the rib cage,
a wheelbarrow of humus,
no more.
Against the sternum’s midnight
we root the daylilies of our longing,
opening to every sunrise,
prayers caught in their throats.

No room for the blue child
to extend her arms.
She is poised like a diver,
landlocked, heavy heeled,
hands at her sides.
The dirt beneath her
swims into cloud.
She cannot leave,
hostage to the planter’s trowel.

Behind her, the gash of sunset.
At her feet, the mindless cherub
waxes into praise.

My Private Garden
oil on canvas
62 x 28”

Damen, Jessica & Ragain, Maj, privately published for Vision to Verse-Verse to Vision: A Visual and Poetic Dialogue, exhibition, June 15-September 4, 2004