My Garden 




A rock garden 

Like a huge bonsai 

Colors my backyard 

Season to season. 


Voles drill under the rocks 

And kill the border roses. 

Chipmunk sprinters 

Brown the conifers. 

Rabbits take the lilies and clover, 

Bunnies, the honeysuckles and phlox. 

A zucchini, gone, 

The eggplant, half-chomped.


As for the birds,

They thrive. 

Robins in the cypress.

Nestlings grow out of their blue eggs 

Nakedness to feather. 


This is my garden,

Forced or willing 

I share. 


Xiaoly Li is a poet, photographer, and retired computer engineer who lives in Massachusetts. Prior to writing poetry, she published stories in some Chinese newspapers. Her photography, which has been shown and sold in galleries in Boston, often accompanies her poems. She currently studies poetry with Barbara Helfgott Hyett. Xiaoly received her PhD in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and masters in computer science and engineering from Tsinghua University in China.