Old Man's Beard
It doesn’t belong here
But still I see it year after year
Taking the lime it needs from the spoil
Of a house long gone, so it grows up
And greys the bare hedge in Winter.
Old men lived there once, women too;
Perhaps they died there before it crumbled
And it commemorates their grey hair
And ragged clothes. It was long ago
That the house fell but when the seed came
Is hard to tell. It was there from the first
Time I passed in Winter. I always mean to look
When Summer comes for the flowers in bloom
But I’ve never seen them. It is passing
That it means to me, leaving things behind.
Old men, old women, lives like green leaves
That withered before I knew them.