Oak

He drew the way the slant fell across the lawn day after day, standing

sketched how that dark animal crept, how it slunk

from fence to fence a notebook full of delicate things

his own strange cipher on page after page, marked 

how that monster loomed across foolscap hovered at noon

impeding that carefully pegged out square with exquisite effort

to best option the pool with quiet peregrinations, he was thinking

of a constantly imagined place where eventually large fish would swim 

dug it by hand by pen by mind that was his way; slow tools 

to do anything of worth— unshowy shadow work bent 

with a constant overlay of doubt and debt

whereas I stretched out under that same square trying to be as small 

to lay with bare childish legs letting fingers crawl along them

for as long as there was darkness; this other shape overhead

the weight of the world must fall. And after he was felled I cried 

when nobody else in the house thought how they had unwittingly 

let in more light so the pond would not get clogged

I never mentioned how often he had curled his arms around me

how he understood tight spaces, even though his luxury 

had been the sky and it reached out endlessly; guardian of five gardens 

benevolent behemoth taken down brick by brick 

whilst the space was deregulated and devoured of depth

as a more acceptable space was coaxed into the open 

neat new turf acceptable and admired 

the last leaves swept as bright shiny fish 

begin to breed in the shallow warmth, filtered and flattered 

with full light— no longer anything but strange thoughts 

confined to bedrooms all inward and unspoken 

hanging upon a different kind of mood.