A beautiful garden requires many things - A TWIN sestina!
A birthday prompted talks of getting old, how long ago we started seeds
of tomorrow when half the age we are now. We talked of what we'd wanted to plant
thirty years ago, this spring, never knowing life and lives would tear
apart all we planned by winter. New dreams left to wither: no time to grow.
We watched helplessly, willing them not to fall apart. But the water
rose to flood summer romance with reality. A dead flower never blooms.
Between us, five children under the age of ten: Neither had a house big enough to plant
all of us in. Exes warred and old arguments multiplied. Too much fertilizer kills seeds.
Summer vacation had proven a labyrinth -- we searched in vain for love's blooms
to spring into action and save that first tender growth, effort salted by tear after tear.
Inevitable that the boom would fall, the lines be drawn. No line in the sand when underwater.
By Winter, heart temperatures were falling below freezing. We accepted no family would grow.
Life moves on. Seasons change. Spring always comes. I moved; had to tear
myself away else I would fall and never get up. Moved north where I'd be near water--
Rented a house; a winter rental, to give me time to heal and grow
back to myself. Ancient cabin of indeterminate age. Landlord said free rent if we'd plant
a garden for her. Clearing old growth is good for the soul: My heart and the garden got new seeds.
We'd be gone ere summer came, but it was okay because we knew there'd be blooms.
My father, well into his winter-years, told me one never knows what will grow
no matter the age of the seed or how well-fertilized the plant.
He repeated that old saying: If it is meant to be ... It never hurts to sow some seeds.
Might find a surprise some summer: I'd never know what I'd find deep in the blooms.
That spring, dad passed. My anchor torn away, I drifted. No compass. Always a tear
about to fall. Mother moved in forcing a realignment of priorities. Blood thicker than water.
More seasons tumbled by. I watched the Twin Towers fall. Wine soured to bitter water.
That winter, my youngest child sailed into the Navy: she had her own path to grow.
When had I reached the age of empty nests? My mother died. I needed something new to plant.
Loose ends, a path split: follow the old or time to hack away at undergrowth and seek former seeds?
Late summer road trip--part survival fleeing, part searching to find if I had any blooms
left. Was there a spring of fresh water deep inside or was I so broken I could only leak a tear?
Mobile homes need summer warmth, January cold brought only snowy blooms.
He heard I was back. My soul bounced on springs as we talked for hours. Could I tear
myself out of the trailer and come over? Knowing I was going to fall; I leapt in the water.
By winter, we'd fashioned a new year-long garden. Just the two of us, we watched it grow.
One can be blissful in love at any age, this time we knew the crops to plant.
Never too old to learn, we discovered entire new catalogs of seeds.
Great-grandparents now, we age. Don't want our plant to fall: must water,
even as winter grows cold, spring waits in the wings, neither now cry a single tear
because summer blooms are now bountiful in our life-garden of very old seeds.
Twin sestina. End and first half of line words rotate and are reused in a specific pattern with all 12 words in the final 7th stanza of 3 lines.
Unlike a double sestina that has twelve end-words, a twin uses words as mid and end words. All twelve words must be used in final tercet. Now specific order as there can be only one end-word per line Follows 2-5, 4-3, 6-1 pattern.