The Gardener

Since the phlox are dying 

and the daisies with their bright bodies

have shattered in the wind,

I go out among these last dancers,
cutting to the ground the withered asters,
the spent stalks of the lilies, the black rose,

and see them as they were in spring,
the time of eagerness and blossoms,
knowing how they will all sleep and return;

and sweep the dry leaves over them
and see the cold earth take them back
as now I know it is taking me

who have walked so long among them,
so amazed, so dazzled by their brightness
I forgot their distance, how of all

the chosen, all the fallen in the garden
I was different: I alone
could not come again to the world.

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