Old Bill's Garden
They are digging up Old Bill's garden--
tossing the stakes naked of pea vines,
tramping the furrows bereft of their berries.
They are paving over the pebbly path
that measured the shortening of his steps.
They are trenching through the derelict rows
laying pipe where Ann's peonies once struggled,
where her roses fed the deer.
The spoil rises.
It piles against the sill
where his gloves rested.
It grows in a tangle of brush and root,
the hacked remains of the old apple and plum.
It grows with planks of fence.
It grows with shards of the siding
Bill hammered in place one hot summer
and painted Ann's favorite color.
It rises like a pyre.
A big mouthed backhoe clears the spot
Where the two green lawn chairs
sat side by side
for all those years.
Even when Ann was gone
and only Bill was left
to watch the traffic and the sunflowers.
And then just two empty chairs--
watching the road like a poem.
See all the grey earth scraped clean of them,
Blank and bare
and waiting for the next story.