My Old Man (c) by Liz Southwood 8/8/00
Glossy periwinkle, forget-me-nots
and blue-blossoming rosemary tangle
where he walks and pinches tops
of withered iris and drooping snow drops,
He pulls a weed, clips a branch,
never passes through
without doing something to
improve the ambiance.
He’s clean-cut in his old tennis hat.
The sun beats down on his bent back
and helps to heal sore muscles.
He ponders pruning the bougainvillea,
scarlet, papery, which mingles with vanilla-
scented star jasmine, but glimpses a snake.
Last year’s king snake is back in the shade.
Now where’s his mate? Asleep or awake?