Backyard King

The afternoon breeze under the warm sun, enough to calm the hardiest among us,
Presiding over another school day ending, students walk home chattering in excitement,
On the other end of life’s journey, the grown-ups are feeling giddy,
The work day’s almost over, not long before they’re outta there,
Birds flitting in and out of trees dancing in the breeze,
But amongst the tranquility lies a hint of melancholy,
Ain’t rained for some time and now the ground’s barren and dry,
Looked out at the yard, scanning the grass for green parts,
At the flowers and plants standing strong though nourishment is scant,
Like loyal troopers in a beaten army, stoicism masked their suffering,
Lined up two rows separated by a line of grass, their king stood tall at the end of the path,
Standing tall like a tower but not immune to patterns of the weather,
Weakened, too, by the drought like a deposed ruler stripped of majesty and clout,
Listing weakly against the wind, helpless as a sinking ship,
The branches are ashen and cracking, bereft of leaves on its many, many sleeves,
Not even kings are infallible against the fury of Mother Nature,
In the face of her vindictive side they’ll barely get out alive,
But she has a nurturing side, finally the rainy days arrive,
Cascading down and all around, an overdue gift from way up in the clouds,
Cancelled many a child’s outdoor plans, grown-up hangouts flushed down the can,
Heaven-sent for nature’s flora and fauna, that heat had become drunk on its own power,
The hardened soil softened once more, absorbing nutrients just like before,
The rains cease after a week and a half before the repentant sun shines across the land,
All is renewed, the gentle breeze returns with a brand new tune,
Got the plants and trees dancing, clouds above groovin’ as they’re floating,
The King stands rejuvenated, back from the dead like Lazarus,
Having lapped up the elixir of life the body no longer a pasty white,
Armed with lush greenery on all branches looking once more like the sovereign of the garden,
Its loyal army joins the party worthy of a dignitary,
Twenty-one leaf salute for Mother Nature, here’s to renewed health and vigor.

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