A person from the past

A person from the past appeared.
He was suddenly there.
He asked us if we liked our home
And was it a happy place?
We said it was.
He said it had been
When he lived here.

He asked about the garden
And did we like it?
We said we did, very much
It was why, many years ago
We had wanted the house.
He said he loved the garden
When he lived here.

We asked him if he would like
To see the garden of his memory again.
Oh yes, he said, with warmth.
He gasped when he saw
The conservatory
Which has encased so much joy
Since he lived here.

He gasped again when
He saw the hour-glass pond
Which somehow seemed
Without flowing at all
To measure and contain
The unseen fluid years
Since he lived here.

He used to catch newts
He reminisced 
Close to the nearby school
Their progeny, without doubt,
Were under this surface before us
We’d always wondered how it came to be
That they lived here.

We had to take his arms
To steady him down the steps
Over which he used to leap
To climb the baking-apple tree 
He regarded the eater with suspicion
He didn’t think it was there
When he lived here.

He spoke about the cabin
Where he used to hide a key
To creep back in at midnight
When his father locked him out
And pointed to the bedroom
Where he spent four days banishment
When he lived here.

We had demolished that cabin
And the other
And never knew the three greenhouses
That his father had soaked
By a pump that stole free water
Directly from the nearby brook
When he lived here.

Such a happy place he echoed
It still was, we said
Our family had grown with joy.
He was glad, and we helped him back
Through the same verdant embrace
That had so vigorously hugged him
When he lived here.

His widowed mother, he said
Had put aside some money
For a new garage door
And we confirmed
We had spent that money
As his mother had intended
When she lived here.

He went on his way
And said he’d come again
On Christmas day.

The unspoken garden
Had not uttered a word
But without speaking
That he lived here.

Other missives

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