Cordula's Web. Park in Duesseldorf
Park in Düsseldorf, Germany. Copyright © 2004 Cordula's Web. Gallery 24
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The Unkept Garden

J. R. Williamson, Jr.

I. Twilight

Beyond the fount where we first met
Sits a garden in disrepair;
And yet,
Lingering in its subdued air
Is the fragrance
Of our romance.

The garden wall of mortar 'n' stone,
Now cracked and crumbling, still remains
Alone.
Buried nearby a rose contains
The secret of
Our dying love.

Our life became that entombed rose,
A union of blossom and thorn,
That knows
Pleasure pierced and pricked while torn
Between the Should-
Nots and the good.

Is there no final evening kiss
For memories to rest in peace,
And this
Rose to reach its sweet release?
Is there no end
To wounds within?

And hereby lies my last regret:
That as love died in this garden
Unkept,
Never begged I your pardon,
Nor wept the words,
"I'm sorry."

II. Midnight

Outrageous fortune's arrows 'n' slings
Cast harsh shadows across my mind
And bring
Bright reason near the edge of time
Where thought and will,
Taunted, stand still.

A distant bell shall soon toll twelve
Summoning the dance of demons
And elves.
Already their laughter has begun
To haunt and hound
This hallowed ground.

They seek the rose and what's beneath
To boast a vict'ry over tombstone
And wreath,
To raise the ghosts of body 'n' bone,
Of passions past
And hopes held fast.

[The clock strikes twelve.]

The earth's now void and without form.
The day is dark and without light,
Unborn.
Did God declare, "Let there be night?
Nature, reverse?
Creation, be cursed?!"

Father, have you forsaken me?
I've nothing left but this rose
And thee.
My life's a prayer. Can you hear it?
Into your hands, Lord,
I commend my spirit.

III. Dawn

Where was the promise of tomorrow
With joy triumphant o'er fear and
Sorrow?
Who hindered the angel's errand
To soothe my soul
And heal it whole?

Unknown to me, my long lost friend
Passed the night near a garden gate;
And when
Darkness fell with evening's full weight,
She too was spent
With doubt's torment.

And then ...

Imperceptibly, came God's grace
As dawn's descendent rays revealed
Her face
From far across a forgotten field
Where ghastly shades
Began to fade.

A morning breeze brought heaven's breath
To wake my love with careful, sweet
Caress,
And deliver from death's retreat.
It set her free
To rescue me.

Resurrected, the rose survived
As we left the unkept garden
Alive
With fresh faith and hope of pardon --
Vowing never
To return
Again.

Poems by J. R. Williamson, Jr:
Do You Love Me More Than Ice Cream? (2006)

Home :: Poetry :: Ghosts of Pain (6) :: The Unkept Garden

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