That Place

This time I saw the garden
From a side street by a shopping mall.
I looked across a wall, and there it was,
Full of chrysanths and wallflowers.
I could almost smell them,
They were so bright and clear.
And she was there in the garden again,
In a bright red dress, belted,
And just above her beautiful white knees.

Seeing her once more,
With her red hair framing her face,
Set me longing for her.
The past rose up to stand by me,
As if I were still with her.
And I try – how many times have I tried?
To see the way to that garden – to her.

It always looks so easy.
Take a left, keep straight on,
And head towards the high ground.
I try, but I never find it.
I never arrive.
And perhaps, looking back, I see it again;
I see her reading, or busy with the roses.
It’s been nearly seven years since I held her,
Since she was mine,
And walked the same life,
Enlivening and making a home together.

I’ve seen that garden from the river.
I caught a glimpse of it
From up against that grand old oak tree,
Near Hodden’s wood.
Sometimes I even see it in photos
In the newspaper,
Or occasionally
Watching old films on TV.
And if I don’t see the garden,
Then I might be reminded of her
In some other way.

While in K Mart,
I was idly watching a couple my age,
Selecting a freezer.
I must have been staring,
Because I was lost in the woman’s quality,
Her cleanness, her intelligence,
And her full female body.
Then suddenly I realised her man
Was looking at me,
Probably wondering why I was staring.
I smiled and looked away,
Not able to tell him
How much I had lost.

But perhaps today
I can climb across the wall,
Scramble straight to that garden.
Maybe I can keep
The shape of her in sight,
In her red dress.

Tony Crisp

Copyright ©2001 Tony Crisp

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved