There are ghosts in this garden.
Our younger selves whisper about what we have become,
but hearing has diminished, like appetite and sex,
and only fragments reach our ears.

Remember? I ask, but then I forget
What I wanted you to recall.
And you nod, close your eyes and drift.

Then I remember: a day when we planted the birch,
the hole immense, our nails brown with soil,
we edged the six foot bundle forward until,
encased in burlap, it dropped and nestled into its new home,
as we were settling into ours.

That tree is thirty feet tall now,
Papery flakes peeling from its trunk.
Some boughs edge toward brittleness and break.
But still, in spring, it sends out catkins
of faith and hope.

Posted by kind permission of the poet.