English ivy clings
to the red-brick walls,
but more as a lover in sensual embrace
than a prisoner scaling mortar to the meadow beyond.
My sanctuary is painted in peonies,
evening primrose, and daylilies for annual hire.
This garden is ample enough to hold my solitary soul
and its clothes that grow more ill-fitting
as seasons slide surreptitiously from the sundial to my brow.
I sit in a slanted wooden chair and read Wordsworth
through bifocals, a cup of tea on the table
by my side.
At the end of The Prelude—oh, what irony!—I close my eyes
so that I may view the mountains and valleys of the world,
and yes, the meadow, which the ivy can now
because awareness has risen like kundalini through its sap-filled spine.
I am as free as the robin perched atop the northwest corner.
He can survey the land or fly—it’s all the
same to him.
I sip the tea and open my life again,
its pages bound each to each by natural piety.