They say she was a child actor in silent films, I don't know for sure. They also say she shot her second husband three times and when the shots didn't do the trick, she smashed a stone against his forehead. They say he lived, and with her, until his death of natural causes. They say natural causes, indeed. They talk of her as if she is a ghost with no name. I don't know her name and no one else seems to know. They say a car leaves early in morning and returns late at night, a black Mustang they say. There is no weekly gardener, no cleaning lady.
They say the garden was once a showcase full of exotics like orchids, strange ferns, towering redwoods, and flowers that smelled up the night. I've been told the garden tours were a annual event with gardenias on her shoulder and in her hair. They say she was gracious hostess.
Peacocks, they say roam the gardens screaming all through the night waking the dead and the neighbors, and the outdoor aviary was occupied with birds from all over the world like China and South American. They say the curtains move.
I see only wild birds now, but I have seen the curtains move and lights in the windows. At Christmas there is a limousine and other cars that come and go. They say she wears furs.
I've been told she walks the garden in a velvet robe some say the color of lavender, others say purple. I've never seen her. I would like to. They say her hair is white and she wears it in a pony tail. I wonder.
They speak of her garden as a loss and a nuisance. Gossip has it the city has spoken to her, although they say she does nothing about it. Something about a past mayor or a judge. Rumor has it it's the third husband, maybe that explains the black Mustang. They say, nay, the driver is to young. I don't know.
The sign at the back gate reads ring bell. They say she never appears.
They say there are no happy endings, only a happy life.
I say there is one in every neighborhood.