Governor’s Place

G
The great house birch with its girth he never quite
could get his arms around, long felled, at last
only its bark like a larva’s husk in grass
leaning neck-high, hollow below mansards.

He does not live in the peeling mansion, but
a more-than-ample keeper’s cottage beyond
rolled lawns and relics of Victorian elms
where he muses in his study alcove. Touches
the ancient coins, silver or bronze, their gleam
on the baize-topped writing table — proud Athena
helmeted; her owl agog beneath. Eternity
glimpsed in the boy ruler Gordian’s profile,
copper green.
Trees on guard in browed
dignity now the seething barrack of bees.
Nearby a maple twisted by wind for decades
spirals, a stair winding above the cone
of shade. In his covert the son, reading Herodotus,
Suetonius — staggering run of drachmas,
staters, tetradrachms, glinting in rows.
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