The Gentle Lion in my Garden
by Carol Wolrich
Pleasant as ripe peaches; this warm forever
day. As I drift in and out of radio thoughts,
tuned in to some cheerful talking frequency.
Here is no tomorrow; only meanderings through
the ordered past - where steam trains ran
on time, and 4 o'clock stopped for tea.
I picture country churches, musty pews. Gentle
games of tennis, just for fun, when the world was
amateur. I dream of pine-woody smells and Camberley
at nine, heady with the scent of bygone air, fresh
and free of multiple motors. I lament at the suburban
decline swarming over Slough. Long, long before now.
A literary lion came to my garden today, chuckling
through the soft summer leaves. Between two and
three, he read me his poetry across the waft of
petunias, until the importunate plea of the news.
The lion has gone. But, with a strongly adorable
laugh in his hand, Betjeman lives on.
©2004 Carol Wolrich
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