Sole witness

Night has fallen and the heady scents of
mint and magnolia hang heavy on the air
still swollen with a rain that has just passed.

I stand here in the drive by the car, eyes closed
inhaling the thickness of the night,
drawing it in deep and filling my lungs with dampness.

The neighbor has cut the grass and the patch of mint beside the house with it.
Its essence, crisp and welcoming, greets my arrival home after so long away
and calls to mind the unruly strip of mint in the courtyard of my childhood.

The magnolia in the yard is in bloom; its pure, graceful flowers tucked
within waxy, viridian leaves on sturdy branches,
their sweet, citrusy fragrance as alluring as a grand Southern romance.

They twist together here beneath the blue moon,
these perfumes of the earth becoming one in my nose and in my mind,
mingling and fusing one to the other.

And I am the sole witness of their union,
breathing in the unassuming beauty
of their midnight marriage.

©stephanie pepper, 2019

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