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Come Close and Listen

Their Garden

Late autumn, yet the stream is just a trickle.
A mass of crows is watching from the oak
while, muffled in old clothes, he tidies leaves.
She’s inside, reading, thinking of abroad–
and how the airport’s now impossible.
Funny how the hours and years get shorter
and yet that sky grows bigger every day.
They’d planned to change the place, adapt, convert,
but now the bathroom window glass stays cracked.
The evergreen they planted years ago
had seemed a kind of symbol of their love.
One winter it had withered, nearly died.
‘A subject for a poem, perhaps,’ he thinks,
as weakening sunlight filters through the branches,
disappears, and leaves him wondering in the shade.