mid-day poem, march 15, 2015


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

Once before.


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.

Copyright 2015

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