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He tends his garden, his price possession
I watch through stained kitchen panes as he moves and turns
Gloved hands pick up a creeping branch and prod it with a stick
Skillfully the soil is turned and its thirst quenched
This plant is done, he moves to the next

I follow his gaze and they land on his roses
As if to comfort them, he silently poses
Intensely observing
I watch still as he traces the path leading to them with his eyes
“Not now” he seems to say. Now is for the shrubs
Leaning down he picks his sack and swings it over his back
A builder’s back, sinewy muscles pulse and flex
Telling a story louder than words could have dared

I don’t enjoy this part of his routine
I prefer to wait till…well he saves the best for last
Turning I look to my own potted mounds
Lined up against my kitchen walls
I shudder to believe they will not green and bloom soon
And if they do? Whose hands will tend them as he does his roses?

Quickly I turn and only just miss his last step into his rose garden
Beautiful is his raw rugged presence amid the delicate reds and yellows
Here he takes off his gloves
Here he feels each petal stem and leaf
Here he crouches low and speaks “coo”
Here he smiles with his eyes
Here he cries
Here his skill is an art
Here his time is not rushed
Here his soul is at peace
Here his stand is at ease
Here his blood drips against thorns
Yet he doesn’t back down against the pain
He prunes, digs, and waters all the same
Here he does his best

I long to see touch feel him
Yet I dare not step on sacred soil
I stand instead in the space between the front door and the back door
Desperately waiting to hear a knock at the front,
Longingly hoping for that crack of light from the back
However, I’m neither torn nor perplexed
I live simply in my comfortable space
Watching, waiting, praying
Till the day my gardener comes.