Every year late August brings me its unexpected moment,
a pivotal day before the slow slope down through Autumn.
I remember how you planned gardens with a practised eye,
so today, your birthday, I work here this hot afternoon
in deep silence. Time to deal with shrubs left far too long.
All routine, but this quiet husbandry is important,
mending, remaking, a mutually healing habit.
Gardening wakes neglected things then consoles them, revives
the simple desire to show a familiar shape love.
Watering, weeding, preparing new seasons. It all helps.
(From Cello, Rockingham Press, 2013.)