Wishful Vow

Wishful Vow
oil on linen
18 x 46”

Winter Garden
by Janet Lewis

reading by Debbie Deal

reading by Olivia Hollander

Child, dream of a pomegranate tree
Weighted with ruby, showered with gold,
Dream of a fig tree under the cold
And cloudy sky
Lifting its curved and silver boughs
Like a roofless house
For birds that be
Tardily in November here;           
Dream of a spare
And twisted vine-
The grape-and ivy for the hair,
And honeysuckle, stubborn twine;
And of the firm and hidden shape
Of the green orange deep in the tree;
And dreaming, in my garden be.

    I have bestowed calendulas
That brighten beside reddening haws,
And rooted out the hoarhound grey,
And pulled the nettle from our way,
And torn my hand on bramble berry.
Then, if a drop, red as a cherry-
Bright blood-upon my finger show,
It is a seal set to a vow
To ward and to cherish even as now,
Now that you sleep your joy to replenish,
Each branch, each varied lifting bough,
That not a leaf in your garden perish

Janet Lewis. Poems Old and New 1918-1978. Swallow Press, Ohio University Press, Chicago, IL 1982 p. 72