‘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

Tagged , , ,

2 thoughts on “‘The Caretaker’ by Leanne Moden

  1. 17rick47 says:

    A link to this poem can now be found at ‘edge of frog’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: