Garden City

The trees in my country are planted
Equidistant along the hard flat soil
Aside proud pavements and expressways
Tarred with smooth precision.
Their branches provide kind but feeble shelter.
A storm tugs one to the ground;
Traffic strains forward.
Elsewhere you will hear of congestion on the radio
Or read roadsigns updated in real time.
I think of the person paid to watch me drive.
Sometimes you even see flowers
Without knowing how they appeared.
Once I saw black faces and hands
Planting parts of a garden.
They avoided my eyes namelessly
Pruning the untrodden ground.
They fingered the soil that I wash off my soles.
I never knew what flowers smelt like.
When I was young I played with sand in a box
Grass in a plot, books that told me how not why
Things were made and worked
For reasons that convenienced us.
The rain falls, the sun sears,
Because the weather here is hot and wet.

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