Ode to My Garden Pruners
The hardware store keeps your kind
under lock and key. I know I could lose you
like sewing scissors, postcard stamps,
that jade ring from China,
my purple pull-down hat for fall.
I rigged up a cinching-to-me. One Goodwill belt,
a leather holster, slick-draw me and you, my garden gun,
ready for mayhem to camellias. Or caressing.
I learned how to prune the rose bush from a master
with ten thousand in his care, and now you snip
rose hips and blind shoots under sagging lilacs and ambitious camellias.
Help me tame the vertical fig that smothers the quaking aspen.
What fears us? Your jaws of steel, anvil blade.
You are my costume, my going forth into green.
I swivel the holster to the small of my back
so you won’t fall when I lean, rip out blackberry.
I home you into your holster bed in one swift move.
There is so much to love about you, long-term.
How your swivel lock closes your eagle craw.
Did you ask for handles dipped in red?
Would you have liked dark green? Gold?
Sky blue? Red leads me to you.
Yes, I use your blades to dig dandelions
or slice open a bag of bark dust when no one looks.
I apologize for knicks from trying to bite off more
than we can chew through, your mouth
smaller than twinberry gone gangly.
You’re reluctant to disturb
the fat spider hung
who caught a fly and shrouded it in silk,
and you are right.
Later for the roses.
* * *
Tricia Knoll is a Portland, Oregon poet who has maintained gardens all her life, sowing the seeds of sanity. She grew up admiring her mother’s roses and vegetable garden. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and volunteers at Portland’s Washington Park Rose Test Garden. Her chapbook Urban Wild is available from Amazon and focuses on interactions between humans and wildlife in urban habitat.