Patio Garden in Winter
Through the night window the plants in my patio garden
send their soft, fragrant breaths.
The potted philodendron reaches up
with long, slender arms, fringed hands
for a breeze from over the wall.
Macho fern, living up to its name,
strong even with its graceful fronds.
By the wrought iron gates, covered now with wooden doors,
the twin bougainvillea plants, huge, spikey with thorns,
hoarding their jewels till summer
when they burst forth in a glory of magenta and green.
The smaller plants: aloe vera, its soft, spongy arms full of cures,
geraniums, fuzzy-leaved, so happy in the cool
they send up occasional raucous blooms.
Sparrows that nest in the bougainvillea
to chatter and sing, swoop down to the fountain to bathe.
By night, their feathery dreams brush mine.
Schefflera, planted in the ground by a previous gardener:
nothing destroys it, neither drought nor freezing rain.
It disappears, then rises again, leaves shining.
Blooming, breathing heart of this house,
each night we become more entwined.
Patricia Spears Bigelow, a native Texan, has worked as a teacher and poet in the schools. She has had poetry in various journals and anthologies including: Voices de la Luna; the San Antonio Express News; Bearing the Mask, Southwestern Persona Poems; and Weaving the Terrain, Dos Gatos Press; The Larger Geometry, poems for peace, peaceCenter Books; and on San Antonio buses through VIA’s Poetry on the Move program. Her collection Midnight Housekeeping was published by Riverlily Press. Her poetry has appeared in 12 issues of the Texas Poetry Calendar, and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.