Beloved, again

From far away the garden is empty as a hand
cupping air. Hello again,
Hello, it’s me. It’s only me.

Here is the garden (empty) and here is my mouth (open).
Open my mouth and all the birds of late summer fly out.
Sparrows and swifts, dubious swallows, their feet
scrambling the conversations that crackle
through the telephone lines on which they sway (listening).
And cuckoos making one last dash for freedom, anything
to escape being locked up again in the mechanical
clockwork of winter.
From far away the garden is empty, all the hasty
distracted ghosts are gone. Men dealing cards
in the dust. A woman shuffling her hands, a mother
calling in the dusk. Come in, girl, get a move on do.

Meaning here, meaning hurry, meaning home.

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