The phrase, My garden is wanton, comes to me as I weed.
It feels somewhat Sitwellian. Later, I’m off to a launch.
It’s one of my own generation who’ll hold forth: he’ll bring the league
Of greybeards out in force. The girls who used to get me
Into bed, quite willingly, by citing Jean Garrigue,
Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, they’re also past their prime,
Wrinkled, wrinkled as I am. Nowadays, I’m off the booze
And don’t want to talk to anyone who isn’t fresh, who
Doesn’t jog my memory of how the eyes would widen, widen,
Smitten by the synergy of intellectual chat.
But now I need a chair, no way am I going to manage listening
While standing up, ah, but what luck! One of the rarities
Actually sits down beside me. She leans to me for a word
And she is a joy forever, just as entirely engaged in what
Words are and what they do as I was at her age and am again
As we discuss the longer line and her notion of inventing some
New punctuation – I suggest an anti-exclamation mark.
We laugh together and her lovely eyes widen, widen.
I am far from dignified, my hollyhocks are mating with
The foxgloves. My garden is wanton, my garden is wanton…
And what is your name? I ask as we rise. Iris, she says.