Secret Garden 3
Good times, bad times, sun and rain:
only the robin knows what passes
through my mind at times like these.
Head on one side, looking at fresh-
turned earth for wriggling worms to take
to his new nest under the leaves, he’s not
telling anyone anything. So why should I?
“Once I had a secret love,” but secrets
aren’t secrets when the heart is worn
on the sleeve or a shining ring adorns
the loved one’s finger. I remember
the warmth flooding through heart
and mind as I prepared for our secret
meetings. The Silver Gift Shop in Bath:
many’s the afternoon I waited there
while you finished your shift in Boot’s.
Then off to the Monk’s Retreat for sausage,
egg, and chips served in the frying pan
at the table: “Careful, my dears, it’s very hot.”
The Robin nods his head and winks a knowing eye.
There are voices in the garden. We lie
close to the ground hoping we won’t be seen.
Your state of undress is something
you’d want to hide from your mother,
even now, after a quarter of a century.
Would you encourage your daughter to make love
out of wedlock? We did. There: the secret’s out.
At least, I thought it was a secret,
but now, as I sit in the classroom
watching pair lovers, side by side,
I read so many signs I once thought
unreadable: sudden warmth in a smile,
a blush, eyes locking then looking
quickly away, a change in a person’s
breathing, hands touching lightly,
loves messages flashed swiftly
from eye to eye, along the secret pathway
that unites and ignites two souls.