Gardener at Heart - Book Two

The Last Walkabout


Just time for one more journey round the yard,

One little trip to visit all these friends.

Right here, beside the steps up to the door,

The lady’s-eardrops dangle thick and bright;

And now the small azalea’s solid green,

Its last few flowers fallen in the grass,

Pink dresses for a stick used as a doll.

The buds are thick along this little bush

Whose name we have not figured out just yet.

And here’s the tree where bushtits come to roost,

Green in the leaves, like little leaves themselves,

And sing their tiny songs and settle down,

While God pokes at his campfire in the west.

And this camellia, old as this old house,

Chopped down to just a stump before we came,

Now vigorously springing up again,

Its leaves as bright as patent-leather shoes:

We hoped it would become a tree once more.

Beneath this window here, from which we saw

A bald eagle the day that we moved in,

A little yellow poppy blooms each year,

Dependent on our thoughtful disregard.

Some buds have come out on the columbines

And on the exuberant pot marigolds.

Looks like the chives are doing pretty well,

And, hey, the parsley’s finally come up—

Up just in time to greet us as we go—

For go we must, or pay a bigger rent

Than we can cut from our small monthly pie.

Yes, Money once again takes up its scythe,

And throws a roast to Conscience on its chain,

And comes to cut down all our fine new growth.

Oh, we’re just cuttings, oh, to tell the truth,

We’re really cuttings of cuttings of cuttings,

Afflicted with the virus of despair

Which now we’ll have to outgrow once again.


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