Three Days Married

They did this job

together once before

three years ago,

the wrapping of the trees

to protect

from coming frost.

The fabric was new


the trees in their first year

of fruit.

Their sons were 6 and 1.


as they had unrolled

the endless yardage of

pure white Agribon

the expanse of it


as it reflected back

their own

white hot anger.

They had squabbled

over the clothespins,


when the chill breeze


the sheer fabric from their hands.

They had awoken

the next morning

to discover

the clothespins


the tree

trailing her clothes

in the frosty wind.

That year,

there was no fruit

and in the years since

the yield,


The blossoms,

so often nipped

by the extremes.


though they make

these motions

for only the second time,

they work together as one.

The trees become decked

in yards upon yards

of white.

The garden,

the place of preparation

for patient young brides.


they fight the wind,

their hands

tugging in unison,

the baby pins glinting as they

pass them

back and forth.

The startling flash

of his wedding ring

so new

to them both.

When the wind

brings in a hail storm

they cower

in a shield of apricot branches.

They laugh

that this year

the onion snow

is the same size as

the growing onions.

The hail lays about their necks

inside their shirt collars

like strands of pearls.

She thinks of pearl necklaces

and feels the places

on her body

that ache slightly

from the weekend

they shared

together and alone.

Around them,

the garden is littered

with pearls.

The pearls

she had worn

three days ago

were from her mother.


like the sky today,

the death of tears.

Her dress was the color

of jade.

A yellow and brown spider

had crawled

out of the tender pink

apple blossoms

he had picked for her.

Three boys come

to scoop hail into cups

and pop pieces

into their mouths.

beneath a sky

where the sun soon shines again.

She smiles.

For the brides of the garden,

the world is strewn

with pearls.

In the morning,

the pear tree's covering

will gradually blow free,

but the blossoms


are still fresh,

holding the promise

of fruitful harvest.