Near the rainfall gauge, under a spindly eucalyptus
which cast a fuzzy shadow, she had a conservatory of sorts,
constructed out of chicken-wire and left-over lumber,
and utilizing in clever ways rusted machinery parts.
The soil was stubby with quartz stone and dry as meal,
so she lugged buckets of red earth from a distant paddock,
recycled the bath water, and eventually, in that unsteady cage,
tended bravura-green succulents and asparagus fern.
She dreamed of the day when they could give up farming
and move to a bungalow at the edge of town. All the comforts.
And a garden of orchids, irises, camellias, and roses. She forgot
that farmers hardly ever retire; they die with their boots on.
© Kate Jennings