Old Man with Flowers


Written by:  Thomas W. Shapcott

Four years ago he fenced this allotment, his fingers were wire.
Now, from the window he makes jokes about the neighbors,
and looks away from his body it is past mentioning.
The sinews of his inheritance, and the white paddocks
that he claimed and cultivated, opening them like flowers
unter the light of his sun have all been found
and followed over, He is suffused with afterwards.
Watching the news, in his corner, he sees the deliberate petals
unfold the corolla at the centre of each day’s surprise
and is reassured: he can see through change, through to the
everywhere he himself defined. His skin is rough with sunlight.
His hands are furrows and dried waterways; and when he speaks
he knows he has the cadence of all the seasons.
But his voice is his own stranger; and no one is listening.


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