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Nov 2015
Four feet by six feet,
good black soil
in a good back garden.
I stand, transfixed.
When I was six,
this plot was purgatory.
It could swallow
a sunny afternoon
without mercy.
It stretched, relentless,
an Amazon of weeds
with no beginning
and no end
and I would spend
hour after miserable hour
merely looking
at the horror ahead.
Punctuated here and there
with a desultory dig,
a scrape at the surface,
dock or dandelion
briefly inconvenienced
as the whole, howling,
heaving hoard
of grinning, gobbling green
grasped me, held me
in sticky-willie stasis,
a chickweed choke-hold
between buttercup buttresses.

Today it's tiny.
I could sweep it clean
with three good strokes
of the ***.

So I stand, at once
amused and wistful
lamenting not
the verdant self-pity
but wishing I was still
so easily convinced
of eternity.
Alan McClure
Written by
Alan McClure
   Alice Parker
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