By Michael Hogan



is something we do in alternate years:

bougainvillea branching up over the roof

violet and orange bracts falling in a carpet

from the back door to the far retaining wall.

Morning glories curling up the smooth bark of the plane tree

and the mango so heavy with new fruit

its branches sweep the ground like a green broom.

Always roses: pink and white and yellow

defying this year the leaf-cutter ants

as we defy years

which love to carve their inexorable scrimshaw across our cheeks

and dim our eyes in the late afternoon

so that we close them finally and drift

(our paperbacks forgotten in our hands)

to the sound of doves echoing in the dusk

as tendrils of white honeysuckle sweeten the air.

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