Another dual purpose poem this time. The inspiring picture was of a pair of weathered hands gently cupping a shoot that was growing from the soil. But today would also be my father's birthday and the picture made me think of him in his healthy days, in his garden. That house belongs to someone else now and last time I went past I could see from the road that they had torn everything he had built and grown down and were in the process of remaking it all in their own style and taste. There was a long, lingering moment of sadness as I realised that a part of him that had remained was now also gone.
I imagine your garden is different now.
They'll have torn down your greenhouse, your shed and your trees.
You built it all up by the sweat of your brow
They'll have made it their own, they'll have done as they please.
Your kingdom expired with your own final breath.
It passed from your hands into hands now unknown.
It could not survive past the day of your death.
Gone now the fruits of the seeds you had sown.
The row of tomato plants lining the fence,
The hydrangea bushes overgrown at the back.
The hawthorn so tangled, so thorny and dense,
Perhaps now all things that the garden will lack.
The shrubs and the climbers, the flowers and the veg
All of it changed now, all of it gone
The lawn and the apple tree, footpath and hedge,
Without their old master could never go on.