The slick-black sheen of motor oil
escaping tarmac above swirls
a rainbow hurricane on the muck.
I tug deep bramble roots,
as trucks and hybrids ramble above.
Caustic exhaust can’t match the lift
of rhododendron’s fresh spring scent, but
mars the sweet aroma with a pinch
of nausea. The highway is
a streak of city-grime,
a line to divide this evergreen arboretum;
it becomes a haven to that emerald-headed duck
paddling beside my wheelbarrow. He knows
my sandwich scraps – his daily
snack – and my ear to hear his quacks.
Five years here and still the dull green gleam leads
me in. One trowel cut
reveals a crushed can of lemon-
lime trash but this time I smile,
for beauty here
lies deeper than mere soil.