The patio

The patio

It’s Saturday. Easter weekend
and I am up early. I am
cleaning the greenhouse, bent down
with holes in my knees,
dragging out spiders
from the dark places
where my grandfather
stored pots and sprouted
succulents.

on the lawn,
you are wearing my shirt
and carefully painting a bench
and wooden chairs,
flaked like bad skin
with dry weather. the sky
is mossflower above us, the grass
a mossy green. the chairs
will be white and black eventually – grey in places
where the paint gets mixed.
optimistic, we both intend a patio –
once the spiders are cleared out and the paint has dried
and we have checked
the old sockets
for a way to play the radio
and somewhere to sit
and drink away
our evenings.

I move the cracked pots
to the shed
and step out when I come upon a wasp nest,
but it is empty also – another object
with a place on the shelf
for conversation. all around me
bees hang in dead threads
like sea-bouys
spinning on a cliffside porch. I tangle them
in sticks to throw away
and strike the ground
with a yardbrush and hot water,
painting the cement
soaking.


DS Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019).

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