Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Gate to Nowhere

The Gate to Nowhere

Just by the gate the white hydrangea’s petals blush pink
with September’s arrival.
Its leaves bronze-tipped.
I am an orphan.

The still fiery montbretia is now past its best
As a robin all beady eyes and matchstick legs
approaches my garden bench,
quite fearless

I am an orphan.

Crows are caw-cawing
Blackbirds hitting all the right notes
Each garden bird competes in this teatime extravaganza
I find it beautiful – if melancholic.

And then just as if a baton-wielding bird demands finale
There is silence.

My robin has stayed and bobs on the lawn before me.
Come, come he jerkily seems to say
You’re a mother, a wife, a grandmother –
nothing odd about not having parents at your age.

So you’re an orphan.

I feel autumn in the air
In the rose-hips, in the dank smells
I can see the mighty Snowdonia range
dark grey and velvety.

The little gate,
there at the corner of my garden
Behind the silver birch
Is a gate to nowhere.

I found it lying around nine years ago
On our arrival at the cottage
I liked it – I liked its weight
So I painted it, in that colour
The colour that’s so “in” these days.
Eau-de-nil, water of the Nile
And propped it up in the corner.

There’s something of the Narnia about it to me
I sit and look
I think if I go through it will the hurt cease?
Will the taut muscles relax?
Will it be all wonderful and white, white, white?

Come, come my gate beckons …

But no, not today, my journey’s
far from over.
I’ve many miles to go
And the robin, the thrush, the blackbirds will sing
They’ll sing through the autumn, the winter
And then they’ll herald spring again.