Neglected Garden

The summer ran away from me,
undone by paint tins, screws,
off-cut boards and a long list of repairs.

Wild strawberries runners
overtake my roses.
I cut back yellowing raspberry canes,
the glut of their missed fruit
shrivelled and dry

As frost threatens, I sift
the wet earth at the front door,
A weed-free patch to catch my eye.

I dream in the cooling air,
seed packets and new buds,
while threads of geese
weave the low clouds.

Let the unmown grass take over,
falling birch leaves fill in the gaps,
spangled mushrooms
burst and melt
in the hours I lose to must-dos.

The day is plucked
from the pile of windfall apples,
polished to a crisp shine
that splashes my boots
and sticks with me like a burr.

Gerry Stewart
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