The Matter of a Dedicated Gardener’s Death: Edward O’Dwyer

The Matter of a Dedicated Gardener’s Death: Edward O’Dwyer

A dedicated gardener should die in his garden,

doing the things that, all of these years,

have made him a dedicated gardener.


Not that he should plan for it, of course,

or make any kind of preparations,


but wouldn’t it be fortuitous

if it happened to be early March

and there were clots of daffodils all about?

Yellows always make a garden its most alive.


There’s isn’t any avoiding it, dying must be done,

but only after all the procrastination one can manage.

And dedicated gardeners must die somewhere,

and why not the garden, its best version,


the garden that’s decided that’s enough winter,

enough of colourlessness and bare tree limbs?


The garden that’s in a happy state of resurrection,

floral faces pushing up through soft earth.


Imagine him now, the sky Kandinsky blue

as he abruptly drops a watering can or clippers

and clutches his heart and then keels over.


Don’t turn away. Look at him, sprawled out

there, sunlight settling on his face and arms.

It’s okay, allow it, feel happy for him.

It’s not the least bit inappropriate.

About the author

Edward O'Dwyer

Edward O'Dwyer is from Limerick and has poetry published in journals throughout the world, including The Forward Book of Poetry (2015). His debut collection, The Rain on Cruise's Street (2014), is published by Salmon Poetry. His second, Bad News, Good News, Bad News, will be published in April 2017 by Salmon Poetry. His work has been nominated for Pushcart, Forward and Best of the Web Prizes and he has read for Poetry Ireland's Introductions Series.

One Response to The Matter of a Dedicated Gardener’s Death: Edward O’Dwyer

  • Yellow | Sixteen Magazine

    […] Our featured poet is Edward O’Dwyer with his witty poem, The Matter of a Dedicated Gardener’s Death. It offers an alternative look at the concept of death and it skips along nicely. Read Edward’s poem here >> […]

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