The transplanting

After the fire has traveled from tree to tree in late September, And the poplars and the birches have uncloaked themselves Like our grandmothers untying their aprons when the day's work was done; When only the wild pansies, a few pink aster and the steadfast heather, Sheltered under the house's low eaves, can survive, We move inside for the winter. We collect dried weeds and the skeletons of summer flowers to remind us. We save a few hardy marigolds from the garden and set them on a bench Near the dining-room window where we can watch them nod to the Chickadees that feed on our porch in the sun-dappled snow. We carry the Rosemary out each spring and in each winter; It sits on the dining-room table to remind us. In five years' time it has grown from two slender stalks to an Evergreen bush as full and as large as a two year spruce. The transplanting, so far as it can be done, is complete; We have taken off our gardening clothes, washed the earth from our hands. We and our summer's harvest are arranged inside, In labeled jars, as dried bouquets, as evergreen throughout the house. Now comes the time to use what we preserved, To husband what we could save, To wait together by the banked-up fire; To remember what flourished in our garden.

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