John Fuller

Serenade

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Come to the garden, that familiar place

Where life renews itself against all odds.

Untightening buds act out their memory,

And dying seems a momentary pause.

Our star that took an afternoon to sink

Hangs in reluctance from the darkening tree

Like an amused and philosophic eye

Penning his treatise of the out-of-doors.

We are the topics of his arguments,

Enduring his extemporised revisions.

We are reminded of our natural ends

And of our origins, and of their laws.

The knotted plum has dared at last to bloom:

Its blossom has no other mind but yours.

The yellow spray will lean down just for you

And though its petals scatter, they are yours.

Twisted wisteria unfolds and falls:

Its violet is a passing thought of yours.

The carved magnolia tilts and lifts a cheek

That mimics the expressiveness of yours.

The visited and swooning clematis

Climbs like a conscious eagerness of yours.

Yours are the flowers dimmer than their air,

Whose perfume lingers like an old desire.

Come to the garden, where two glasses wait

And there’s a chair beside another chair.

The liquid lifts and widens as it pours,

And evening has no other end but night.