Walking along a road I once knew well
I pass the house that was my own
I feel no pang for the rooms within
No desire to pull into that driveway
Close my eyes and have all as it was
This lack of emotion surprises me
For I feel myself lost in the past often enough
And haunted and refreshed by memories from those very days
Are others so full of what once was?
But the one corner of the lawn
I called it the yard, then
Does catch my eye. I can’t turn away.
It’s the place where I tilled my garden
I broke a little more earth every year
And that little plot grew with me
Until I was eighteen.
There were a few good years
When we took baskets of tomatoes, dead red ripe
And bushels of green beans
Cucumbers, peppers and onions
Right to the table.
And the even rows with the cleared furrows
Were beautiful, in their way
Signs of order and labor and harmony.
But the corner is only grass now
With nothing to distinguish it from the rest of the lawn
Or the other lawns about.
I don’t want to return to the past
But I want to know that if I crossed that fence
(I don’t even know who owns the place now)
And walked to my corner
That when I stepped onto the place that was my old garden
That sweet, tender soil that I tended
would give way under my feet.