Julia Todd is eighty-eight,
Widowed, childless, alone.
Her house is white and made of wood;
It has a fence of river-stone.

Her lawns are lime-green cool and wide,
Her hedges high with porticoes.
Suet skewered on a string
Hangs from pear and apple boughs.

Of all the flowers in the town
Hers are far the loveliest;
Of all the eaves from which to choose
The swallows fly to hers for rest.

Bowed and rounded like an arch,
Her head the level of her thighs,
She feebly picks the dandelions
That do not miss her failing eyes.

Fixated by the ground, she shuns
The upward glance to spire, to sky.
To get acquainted with the earth
By no means would she have to die.

But when she does, at any hour,
Her final living wish will be
To press her lips against the soil
In one enfeebled ecstasy.

Then I will cease to trim the hedge,
To mow the grass, to string the suet:
Without her scuffling on the path
I would not have the heart to do it.

Copyright 2008 © George Edward McDonough.  All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment