I hear from trees long dead-
Which line the garden and form its barrier-
Of the work I have been handed,
Of the duty for which I am present.
Vines line the garden walls.
These straps which hold me fast to my post
Coiling around me tight and taut
So that I may continue to reap and sow.
I tend to the gilded grapes which grow in their embrace
Which must be collected and passed on,
As soon I must be replaced,
Soon I must join the trees of the garden.
Those gilded fruits are the cause of my trouble.
They shine blindingly in the noon light;
I would rather work in the twilight
If only to protect my eyes from the glare.
I hear from the grapes often.
They chatter, sharing their stories with me.
The noise is tiring, but, as the day grows long,
I soon find that I’ve started to listen.
The grapes and vines must be kept alive
As I must remember my sentence.
Although the thorns leave their cuts on me
And the grapes often stain my hands.
So I am told to sit silent and be well
To be content with the company of the trees.
For they are my own,
For my devotion and my well-being.
I hear from the warden who watches me,
Who’s present for all those with gardens to keep,
That my penance is my reward,
That such gifts grow from the garden for me.