Land II

When your bright grace left,
the land reverted to its
wild, unruly self where
misrule and disorder ruled.

You had tended, gently but
firmly, over ten warm summers,
taming the contours, digging,
walling, planting, paving.

Your garden was
beautiful and repaid an
evening stroll with

But when you left,
your hold released - will
fled - the grasses grew
sudden against the wall,
the paeonies drowned
in an overnight
- so it seemed - field

and all the flowering and
seeding was careless, flung
on the wind, the garden
mobile to its precociousness.

Shocked, when I
visited, it was as if 
the strong old stones
rode high waves of
tossing corn that had
arrived to blot-out the ground
with rude strength.

My hand on the tiller
would have been
ineffectual - it would
take more time and
strength than I
possessed - I was not
you, my life
not your life.  The land

knew you were gone
and settled into itself
as though your hands
had never been.

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