The New Garden

Green is the unflowered garden.
The tender plane throws back its head and laughs,
shakes from side to side like an old man,
or as a girl, lets its petticoat flutter,
lifts its hands, enjoying every moment –
large-leaved about a small stem –
or stilly waits in the daring cool wind.

The loose drainpipe clatters against the brick,
the woven thin wood fence is shivering,
and a silver shine bent all ways sudden
takes the grass.

Now the grass is still
though the wind tears through the trees in the next garden,
nags at the clothes-line, hustles the buttercups
that lord it over the grass, a close-knit peerage
expecting their gold by rights, but still so green –
and they and the grass run back to a tall young pear-tree.
No fruit it offers as yet – only at its foot
alone in green and darkness, are a few bluebells,
serious-looking and beautiful at dusk.
Apart from them, a yellow weed waves in the grass,
but that is all.

Except, in a dark corner,
the low-lying apple-tree spread over the fence
blossoms in pink and white,
and to the approaching night in our new garden
tells helplessly its open flowers,
its secret-spilling petals

that let a hidden song climb over the air –
that speak for us, own our marriage-richness –

welling up through earth’s blankness

like hope, like life, like pain, sweet tears.

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