Jodi Girouard


Listen to the audio version.

I clip the bush out front,
snip branches too long,
the ones that don't conform to the shape,
the style,
the moment I'm trying to make of the front yard.
The blades zip together, sharp in their cuts
as I continue to pare the leaves,
the withered, the dead.
For my life could be the springtime of this plant,
the flowering bud, the rich green of each leaf,
the dark soil feeding, the water quenching.
And I could be okay to be okay.
I don't have to hurt over the years that the bush
didn't grow, didn't make a statement for the yard.
I cut and prune, careful in my design.
In with the breath,
I cast off the unwanted
like the trauma, littering the ground
with it, molding my perfection.
I stand back to admire and realize
there will always be more to take away,
but perhaps I can let it go
back to the wild living,
creating its own way to be,
happy in the wonder of itself.
I close my scissors. Let them rust.
Let the beauty be in its living.
I sit with sunglasses on protecting my view,
as I watch the natural order
take care of my yard.
And itís okay


Jodi Girouard is a life-long resident of Vermont and resides in South Burlington. She graduated from Trinity College of Vermont and has published two books of poetry. She is a past nominee for the VT State Poet. She is married and the mother of three sons who are all inspirations for her writing. She currently produces poetry daily for her blog: "Natural Order" won the 2018 Poetry Contest in Counterpoint from Vermont.