Time to remember again
the last look my father gave the garden,
standing at the gate to take it al
and all he knew of it in
before being slowly eased into the car
for the hospital. Early March
daffodils are in raving bloom,
the untrimmed privet bush glistens,
and some hardy roses keep
nodding their heads at him as he goes.
He’ll notice the dark finger -shapes
of a dozen slugs slithering
over grass, but says nothing,
letting it al fall behind him
like an early draft, a face
he loved but can’t quite remember
the way a swimmer lets the swell
take his body with it- -a detail
in that mighty rise and fall-
feeling its hugeness, its contained
violence and Curious peace. So
letting go his hold on where
things had to happen, my forsaking father
turns himself away
from this hedged -in small space
of hearty brightness that begins
to weather al over again
what the days do, coming and going.
Shifts from one patch of shadow to another,
simmers for a minute in the sun, or bends
to a saucer of water, lapping for dear life
and being her whole bright old self an instant.


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