Magazine | August 27, 2018, Issue

Poetry

(Pixabay)

THE JOY THIEF

He was the last of the great romantic mopes.
He walked in a cloud, perhaps in hopes
of soaking up sky and becoming more blue,
but bowed to green as a needier hue:
He was a connoisseur of gardens, an editor
of colors who changed nothing of
his authors’ works, content to love.
I see him now, gaping at the new
shoots, the unlit bulbs, the fragile impatiens,
as if he were the garden fence
itself, keeping out the impatient predator
deer and rodent. If he had anything to
bequeath from this life, it was innocence,
though by now his heirs are gone, too.

Rex Wilder — Rex Wilder's work has appeared in Poetry, the TLS, the Yale Review, and the Nation. He is a former editorial assistant for Poetry.

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