‘The Caretaker’ by Leanne Moden

The Caretaker

 

At winter’s end I watched the caretaker –

my father – as he prepared. The fires were

lit and the pinions whirred, teeth bared.

 

Smoke clung to my hair. My father – the

caretaker – oiled wheels with blackened

fingers and spoke of the coming Spring.

 

We were deep beneath the ground, then, as

gears pushed green shoots up through the

warm earth. Dynamos turned by steam

 

opened each budded leaf. We assembled

hyacinths and manufactured ducklings.

Bumble bees were painted by hand. Clock-

 

work daffodils opened in April, as regular

as the click of cogs beneath our garden shed.

When the seasons were upgraded, Mother

 

Nature gained a motherboard and my father –

the caretaker – learnt to program grass. He

memorised the keyboard short-cuts for cherry

 

blossom and redesigned ducklings in CAD. He

did not mourn the machine, as I did. The gears

and pinions held no nostalgia, meant nothing to

 

him. The times that we meet are fewer now, his

time is spent perfecting the program. And though

the daffodils are brighter now, I miss that engine

 

more than ever. Though the machinery lays

dormant beneath the earth, I remember him, and

the sweet scent of smoke still clings to my hair.

 

Leanne Moden

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2 thoughts on “‘The Caretaker’ by Leanne Moden

  1. 17rick47 says:

    A link to this poem can now be found at ‘edge of frog’
    http://edgeoffrog.wordpress.com/

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