FIRST JOBS IN THE GARDEN
The first lesson today is pruning the roses,
my wife the headmistress misses nothing.
The little children have been quiet in their beds
all winter long - now they need haircuts, sprucing.
Some big bully shrubs were expelled last year,
others warned with severe cutbacks.
Daffodils in clumps put up their hands
in buckets, bowls, pots-
"look at us, we're here to please!"
They are the least patient, vying for attention
with snowdrops and crocuses.
I move them to catch more sun,
kicking the dull stuffiness of winter
in the arse; and so we, the old pretenders
summon weary will to action, moving now
in colder shadows, the incinerator
laced with thorns.
We know full well that nature will come
knocking soon enough to collect
the big debt for a life's control ,
but for now we have risen early,
to enjoy the illusion of youth.