Window writing rises through my tools and the shed loomed high, wisteria covering, withering the wood beneath, stripping the beams of their nourishment. Flowers bloom above, crown the beams they destroy. Bikes and lawn mowers and trowels lie inside, a trough left for a forgotten horse, who stayed here a year, munching on alfalfa, confused in suburbia.
I could hide in this shed until the laws were forgotten, burrow into realities of hay and chains and oil until, like the horse, I am forgotten, not threatening to the rigid people who rule the town, the life inside. I will eat apples from the tree above and blackberries from the vine along the wall. Any who come in calm, in trust, weary in wonder down the marble slabs that line my path, stay beside me always. But those who fear, bring pulses rising, beating offtime, will be shown the inkberry bush. They will see the beautiful berries lying thick on each branch and want their dark offering. I will let them eat their fill, drawn as they will be to its poisonous fire.
The calling continues - blue jay caw - flash - through the branches, sparrow lost, robin strong. I must venture in the morning when the sun is only half awake to take the berries I can, for they will not let me sleep complacent, expecting gifts to be left behind at my door. I’ll sing songs of our history limpid and clear as dancing eyes and still pools. And our music swells, so close to the heart I can sit on my threshold, wisteria rotten, and beat silently in time with quick rushing clicks, hear through my knees the earthworm’s crawl, hear through my nails the birdsong.
A hideaway, the law calls it. Lay my head on hay, aware of the memory of leather, bridles like bridal this wisteria above my head, a roof fast blooming to fade in deep night air. With the morning, I have work to do, alive to be joined by alive in blooms, in beams, in rot, in worms worthy, worthy to be here.
Marilyn Boyle, originally from Massachusetts, now lives in the Caledon Hills. Her work appeared in Celebrating Canadian Women (Fitzhenry and Whiteside), Poet’s Market, a chapbook, lyingstill, as well as in various journals and blogs, most recently, Fresh Voices (League of Canadian Poets). Her work explores breath, design, and fragment.