Sometimes

I went to the gardens
That I know so very well.
That I love so very much.
The gardens that help me
Heal my heart and soul.

And there,
I walked.
Alone.

Just me.
And my music
Playing in my ears.

I took my time.
Stopped and looked
Any time I wanted.

Took the time
To feel the breeze.
To feel the sun
Shining down on me.

To listen to the leaves
On the trees.
The birds singing songs
Of so many kinds.

I watched the bees
Buzzing through the wildflowers.
Pollen packed upon their legs.
As they moved from one bloom
To another.

I watched squirrels
Climbing in the trees,
Running along the ground
As they searched
For the perfect feast.

There was a group
Of tiny birds.
They looked like finches
To me.

My hands
Would have dwarfed
Any one of them.

They ate petals
Off yellow flowers.
And watched me
Watching them.

I watched grasshoppers
Playing games.
Chasing each other
Through the bushes,
Grass and mulch.

I took the time to stare
At a black dragon-fly
With the golden stripes
Down both of it’s sides.

I’d only seen one like it
One other time.

I studied the details
In its wings.
The way they looked
Like fine wire frames
With a film stretched
Over them.

I walked through the butterflies
In the butterfly house.
I lost count
Of how many I saw there.

But then,
I didn’t really care.
I was just there
To enjoy the patterns
On their wings.

The grace with which they flew.

Then I walked once more
Among the trees.
Through the forest named
Enchanted.

And I remembered.
And I saw.
And I felt.

I walked alone.

Just me.
That’s how it is for me.
I have no one to ask
On days like today.

I’d have loved to take her hand
And walk with her.
But she was at work.

Work.
Where I spent more than half
Of the life
I’ve been blessed with.

Work.

That which nearly
Destroyed me.

There are parts of me
I know are gone.
That’s all.
Just gone.
Like a missing hand.
Or foot.

Sometimes I can almost remember
What they felt.
Those missing parts of me.

I walked alone.

Wishing, as I have
Thousands of times before,
The people I once knew
Would make the time,
Would take the time
To walk through the flowers,
And the trees.

Knowing they never will.
Even on a vacation.
Or a day off.

I walked alone today,

Through the flowers
And the trees,
Of the gardens
I love so very much.

I’ll walk there
Many times
In the years ahead.

I have to.
You see.
I have to.

For on days like this
I know
The walks I take
Through the flowers
And the trees,

Define a fragile line for me.
Between the darkness
And the light.

Give a hope to me
I can’t hold on to
On my own.

In a world
I never made.

Where I walk alone.

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In A World They Never Made

“He’s here at least once a month.
And usually twice each month,”
Marta explained.
She was mentoring a new volunteer
At the garden on that day.
“He’s been doing this
For years.
No one knows why.”

Both of them were quiet
As they watched him.
Walking through the roses.
Taking pictures.

Sometimes he looked so happy.
A beautiful,
Big smile
On his face.
Those blue eyes of his
Shining with a light
All their own.

Sometimes he looked
About to cry.
And in such awful pain.
As if someone he trusted,
Someone he loved,
Had just stabbed him
In the heart.
With a big knife.
And then just twisted it.

But always,
When he left the garden.
And went to his car
To drive away
He was smiling.
And he seemed OK.

It seemed that everyone that worked
In the garden
Knew of him.
Knew he visited.
Knew he walked
Through the flowers.
And the trees.
Quite regularly.

He was always friendly.
Always smiled at everyone.
And waved.
Wishing everyone
A happy day.

He never walked with anyone.
Always visiting
Alone.

You could tell
He loved the flowers.
And the trees.
You could tell
He loved the butterflies,
And grasshoppers,
The squirrels,
And the birds.

By the way he talked to them.
The way he stood,
And watched them.
Sometimes standing motionless
For minutes at a time.

As I watched him
Walking in the garden
Full of roses,
Marta continued on.

“We like to think
Part of why we’re here
Is for people just like him.
That because of us,
And what we do
To keep the garden beautiful.
To help the flowers grow.
That we help people
Just like him.
To find a way
To carry on.
In a world
They never made.”