|Jul/Aug 2003 • Poetry • Special Feature|
Abandoned in an arid landscape,
it leans its elbows on a crumbling
stone cottage, immune to the decay.
Bronze tips blend with rusty sunset,
stunted fruit underline decrepitude.
No sparrow bothers to sing its anthem,
no cradle rocks from lower limb,
no makeshift swing shoots towards
heaven. I pass it weekly as I check
rabbit proof fences, and it senses
my empathy, invades my psyche,
impels me to revive a dying thing.
In late afternoon stillness I dig
around its base, use mortar from
the ruins to brick its perimeter,
transfuse the aged sentinel from
a drum in the back of my '79 Toyota.
Later, I sit idle in muted shade,
new foliage dances leafy mosaic
patterns upon red earth, tiny
green citrus erupt in sharp acidic hope.