Full Shade
by Sonja Johanson

Today, she aches. She wakes with the long stretch
of groaning belly and back, the howl of inner thighs
unused to slaving, fingertips ripped by thorns.
Yesterday, all day, was spent crouching, weeding
the shady soil she had ignored for so many summers.
Toad-lilies revealed themselves behind the crunch
of jewelweed stems; ramps, planted before
her third child came to take her time, shot
up minute scapes. No one knows the things
which grow in the beautiful dark, the lungwort,
wood poppies, swaths of bloodroot advancing
out of mind. She opens the garden, remembering.

Sonja Johanson serves as the training coordinator for the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association. She has recent work appearing in the Albatross Poetry Journal and Shot Glass Poetry Journal. She divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine.