The caretaker gardener

The caretaker gardener
Was forgotten
The stately home
Fell to ruin

He still came
From the village nearby
He never gave up

He tended the garden
Even though the aristocrats were long gone
Even though the roof caved in
Upon the candelabra
Even though the dust sheets themselves turned to dust

He came trudging up the hill
Through the woodland and into the abandoned mansions grounds
He picked up his spade and his rake and his fork
And he worked on the soil
On the unborn weeds and unborn fruit

And then he went home
To his old kitchen
To his old kitchen table
To his old wooden chair
To his simple peasant food
To his simple peasant ale

Each year he returned to the garden
Each year he fought against the overgrowth
He dug and he pruned
He improved on the layout
He tended to the flowers
He fertilised and he spayed

He welcomed the birds that become his fellow gardeners
He welcomed the insects that did the work he couldn’t do
He expelled the creature who destroy
He smiled on the creatures who propagate

As the stately home was abandoned
It began to collapse
It began to be covered over
Its owners were forgotten
Their portraits on the staircases fell down
The stately widows cracked
The floors caved in

But the caretaker gardener
Continued to make things grow until he grew old
And his sons and his daughters began to work and to harvest
The food
And to spend their breaks sitting by the garden
The garden that began to spread across the rolling hills
The garden that prospered
The people that worked hard
The garden that survived

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