On my way to through the yard with the watering can
I noticed the wrought iron trim on the shed door,
the narrow strip that stood for years above the black
latch, a decorative element envisioned by a designer
who pictured it straight, not hanging by a single
threaded bolt, its screw-mate
pried off by wind, maybe dropped into the woodpile
or the burnished leaves scrumming at the door—
itself constructed years ago by an assembly worker
on the other side of this world.
Not the kind of thing people notice,
though who’s to say the man who mows my lawn
didn’t give it a wondering glance as he rode
by on his tractor. Trompe l’oeil, the French say,
a trick for the eye we see but don’t,
like the fallen tree limb that crushed the hydrangea.
I passed it, blind to the blot against the landscape,
unlike the toppled statuary,
the downed feeder I couldn’t help but notice.
This drooping trim is a small issue (barely an issue),
something I can live with, unlike the browning
arborvitae, whose burlap wrap I reach to tighten.
I debated its health hours on end. Neither stacked pots,
left sitting beside it, nor the leaning, neglected rake
care one way or another if it ceases to hang on for dear
life, which is what I’ll write later after I stand back,
consider the snug wrap of branches, the still-full can
on the other side of the yard
where in a few minutes the parched mums
will quench, swell right before my eyes.