THE GARDENER

 

Twice he came on aged legs

Chipped toes and cracked feet,

Twice I saw his eyes

Yellow and sullen,

His back returned to humble beginnings

As a babe taking his first steps.

“Here comes that queer man” I once said

“He speaks not words not even in song.”

First he clears and he gathers,

Then he tends as a father,

Scrubs all grime and algae

Lest we slip in exuberance.

Always with his faded trench coat,

Sure to hide his waning body,

His old face cap

Sure to hide his deserted scalp.

At first light we run out

With our naked bodies

To preserve our virtue from the eying man,

Often enough, we arise late

When the gardener has commenced his tending,

You can think what you must,

But I swear he never stole a peek,

He continued with his trimming as though

We did not exist.

“Here comes that queer man,” I said again.

“He is no fool in his quiet ways

For the life we imagine is sweet

He knows to be two faced.”


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