Growing old together
they were like the pond’s greenish water
where they were fishing on either sunny or rainy days,
sometimes playing string hand games near the stove
with threads deftly entangled over the wedding rings,
unwinding quickly like his short and tender whistle
calling her from afar, she answering the same.
In the afternoon they were sipping coffee
under the vine arcade,
adding gradually more pepper and lovage
in their soup,
more red paint on their Easter eggs.
There was a too-tall fir in the backyard
hiding a small golden apple tree,
the fruit of which they never tasted.
Usually they spent their time in the front garden,
he stretching strings for vegetable beds always straight,
she planting round small onion bulbs.
They were keeping in mind every tomato growing mellow,
or how heavy was the gooseberry,
how grubby were bergamot pears,
apart from winters when she was knitting booties.
Their footsteps were softer on the floor,
they were gathering in the drawers old photographs,
expired seed envelopes,
more and more dried clover threads...
For unknown reasons they used to find so often
four-leaf clover in the garden.
She had green eyes like a murky sea,
he had warm chocolate eyes,
the hair of both was turning gray very slowly.
That dark fir kept much freshness,
a small fir sapling had started to grow under it.
Hand in hand they were stepping deeper in the gum boots,
mole crickets were showing their heads between tomatoes,
wasps were gathering the dessert grapes,
pegs used for strings were rotting in autumn
like embers taken out too early
from the fireplace.
Their mother is still counting the years,
painting her saints’ icons.