That’s water at the top, running under the bridge,
but the bridge hosts a rock festooned with cinnamon lichen.

All that black plastic was a weed barrier
stretched over the bank, temporarily, 30 years ago.
It ripped as time went by,
blew apart, got brittle
while we pondered on the wall we wanted to watch
from the kitchen window
instead of the unstable bank rank with weedy stuff.

In December just past,
a mason began the real work
and three decades vanished in three months
despite dodging the dodgy snows and freezy rains
that have marked our ascent, this year, into spring.

A solid as rocks, the bottom grew up
to a shelf all the way across
with a backing and the beginning of terraced beds.

For spring and birthday and Easter
and a place in one of those beds
a calla lily waits out our most recent freeze.

The plastic, meanwhile, ripped away in minutes,
the rocks set, the beds turned down,
and plant chocolates placed on the pillowed ground.

It’s a matter of mulch, now, and compost, and setting out plants.

Most of the rocks came from the mud-daubed chimney,
a hundred years old when we took it down,
rock by rock, passed hand to hand,
out of the very center of the house,
and piled it, 40 years ago,
a careful heap, become a mine
of flat and stackable native stone.

But a dozen of the stones
are hunks of crystal quartz harvested
from the branch
worked in just for magic.

Meanwhile, the unruly grass rises everywhere
not impressed by late frosts
or a little dusting of April snow.

Ah, but the mower has a new 135″ belt
and I a new shoulder.
We shall prevail,
for one more year.
in one more month.