“Night Garden”

by Joseph Cutler

When are we really together?
Each walking out of the night garden
After dancing with ghosts,
To wake, and then freshen up
In the bathroom mirror,
To present ourselves
Patched together, brushed, combed,
Washed, and presentable.

We are as present as the lingering vines
Of the night garden,
Still wrapped around our ankles,
Will let us be.

So when are we really together?
Maybe dancing?
But even then with the
Voices of the dead
Calling out the steps?

We offer kindness, pass the cereal,
Pour the coffee for each other, forgive
Each other for our loneliness.

Maybe it is in this kindness,
This forgiveness of the other’s otherness
That finally makes the long, slow
Walk to the graveyard
A time to point out to each other
The hooded orioles by the creek,
The yellow sticky monkey flowers covering the rocks
The fragrant bay trees warming
In the afternoon sun.  

“The Snake Charmer” by Henri Rousseau, 1907

Click on the links below to read more poetry

An Apple A Day
History Interrupted
Joseph Cutler’s bio

© Copyright 2020 Joseph A. Cutler, all rights reserved. No reproduction without prior written permission.