The Latch


The Latch

With its miniature rock gardens, grape arbor, and roses (roses
everywhere, like a child's experiment with rouge); with its neatly
trimmed grass along the flagstone walks; with its birdbath
(strategically placed, as was its willow tree)—the backyard had
all the aura of a formal garden. In that lawn (just large enough
to frame a family portrait), hemmed in by a wire fence disguised
with honeysuckle vines and marigolds, one somehow achieved
a sense of privacy; even a sense of seclusion from the nearby
neighbors. While outside, a narrow broken alley ran between two
rows of other backyard lawns. All this (after all these years), like
the fragments of a dream at noontime. Except for the latch. 
Substantial as a candy stuck in the throat, the latch remains in
mind, as if I'd just stepped out of that microcosmic Eden into the
narrow alleyway this early morning, closing the gate behind me
with a click!; closing the gate behind me with all that is before
time began locked! in a single syllable, for all time.

               in a shaded spot
               the ruins
               of a sundial