Her Rose Garden

It wasn’t long enough before the ground
began to thaw, before her garden woke

with sweeping waves of clover, the baroque
light gilding soft green buds, and all around,

wind lifting the early leaves, slow as a snake
curls on a sunlit rock.
………………………………….It might have seemed

miraculous—a ravaged world redeemed,
the clouds reflected on a sparkling lake—

except she left last fall, and he didn’t care
to kneel beside the bed, to coax and plant,

so wildflowers rambled through the weeds—
but still, her roses bloomed
………………………………….without her there,

white petals tight as shrouds. He didn’t want
this beauty she left behind,
………………………………….these tedious needs.

Ashley Anna McHugh

Ashley Anna McHugh

Ashley Anna McHugh’s debut poetry collection, Into These Knots, was the 2010 winner of The New Criterion Poetry Prize. She was the 2009 winner of the Morton Marr Poetry Prize, and her poems have appeared in Nimrod, Measure, The Journal and The Hopkins Review, as well as in other publications.
Ashley Anna McHugh

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Author: Ashley Anna McHugh

Ashley Anna McHugh’s debut poetry collection, Into These Knots, was the 2010 winner of The New Criterion Poetry Prize. She was the 2009 winner of the Morton Marr Poetry Prize, and her poems have appeared in Nimrod, Measure, The Journal and The Hopkins Review, as well as in other publications.