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On the first spring day of prolonged clear sunshine

she mows the lawns, weeds the paths, hoes the borders,

counts the figs, admires the honesty,

tends the low lavender hedge – then relaxes

on a lounger in front of the gazebo,

framed by clematis and magnolia blooms.


She sleeps, safe in the garden’s ivy clad

chambers – the alfresco rooms she has made

from soil ravaged by lime and gravel.

If she lies too long she will catch the sun –

a curious, promethean turn of phrase

yet right for a gardener who has acquired

from the air itself wild strawberries,

welsh poppies, common columbine, even

honesty. Perhaps I should not let her sleep –

but waking her seems always an intrusion

into the private solitude of dreams.


We have been in love for more than fifty years –

doppelgänger, alter ego; boxing hare,

comedy partner; devil’s advocate,

critical friend; anxiety’s balm, pearl

irritant; good companion, turtle dove.

She stirs – wakened, no doubt, by that slow passion

of plants – before I can rouse her with a kiss,

like any common or garden prince or frog.




© Copyright David Selzer
9 Responses
  • Keith Johnson
    August 24, 2016

    Absolutely beautiful.

  • Ian Craine
    August 24, 2016

    What a beautiful love song to Topsy that is, David.

  • Howard Gardener
    August 24, 2016

    Excellent – somehow understated and yet rich with detail at the same time. Many congratulations to you both.

  • Catherine Reynolds
    August 25, 2016

    What a beautiful way of expressing your love for the reclining gardener. Cx

  • Theresa Brady
    August 28, 2016

    How beautiful. X

  • Mary Clark
    August 29, 2016

    This is one of the best love poems I’ve ever read.

  • Mike and Pat Rogerson
    September 16, 2016

    You paint a beautiful picture with your palette of words.

  • Ashen Venema
    September 18, 2017

    Lovely and touching present to a loved one.
    I was lead back to this poem while exploring Mary Clark’s website.

  • […] Please visit David Selzer’s website. I’ve been following it for several years and have always been delighted by the range and depth of subjects taken on, and by the high quality of his writing. This is one of the poems I’ve most enjoyed: The Reclining Gardener. […]

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