a gardener’s just deserts

while i have not been an enthusiastic gardener, i have appreciated the scenes that it evokes. watching my wife quietly at work, accompanied by our rescue dog, Jack, gave me the idea for this poem.


A handful of birds flirt on long back lawn,
a pre-historic heron slowly overpasses
our pond, spying-out fish or frogspawn.
Terrier Jack manically chases balls, crashes
through flowerbeds, bushes, woodpiles,
unbothered by bruises, or broken bones.
My wife weeds pebbled pathways; robin smiles
from nearby perch on cobble-stone;
R.H.S. standards have sadly slipped a bit*
since my mother-in-law used to garden it.

In autumn chill kitchen knife dissects
multiple apples up: smell them stew,
steam curtains kitchen windows; I expect
my wife might roll-out brown pastry too:
apple tarts with custard; hear thudding
of windfalls, nature’s rejects, badly bruised
and wormed, get pared-down for pudding;
worst cases to the compost, all must be used;
for months pomaceous fruit will censer air,
whenever i fold down the attic stair….

* I. R.H.S. The Irish Royal Horticultural Society, of which my mother-in-law was long-time member.

photo: Dora Kazmierak  https://www.instagram.com/dorakazmierak/



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