My wife keeps giving me books
- on gardening -
a constant, silent directive to get out -
to enjoy -
the pleasures of thrusting tools into all too solid earth,
to revel in the lush growth
that springs from invasive labour.
So I, unwilling apostate, leave my books,
my pens, my glowing screen,
To hoe, to dig, to fork
unforgiving ground, breaking clods,
clay heavy,
cloying to blade and tine
until, reluctant, it falls - leaden,
into the wife measured square of ground.
And I, sweating curses, labour on,
Through sun hot days
To hack and chop, chip and heave
the heavy un-requiting cledge
into warm damp crags
to welcome clot sown hopeful seeds.

Alan Paprill

If you've any comments on this poem, Alan Papprill would be pleased to hear from you.

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