When I come back to this garden after my death
will the black walnut tree have been cut down,
the brick-and-galvo studio made over into flats
reflecting what will have happened all over town?
I wonder just what my airy after-self will find
that the present me could even recognize
roughly, as being something we lived amid;
what will confront my hypothetical eyes
and spiritual vision? Will the bluestone paving
be there, tangled vines and archaic gingko tree?
I wonder how my grandkids’ generation
will be getting along: at all familiarly?
If a posthumous person can view things with horror
will my airy unself shrink back from the tacky way
fashion can rot the linework of certitude,
making more of a mess from townscape every day?
Will the blackbird’s descendent still be pecking, though,
at our patchy lawn? Parrots will squeal overhead,
I’m sure. The hedge may still murmur hints of us
or the corrugated tanks.
But I’ll be dead.
In Chris Wallace-Crabbe (1934-) the urbane can still reside in the vernacular, the vernacular can still possess urbanity. Had his career been North American he would have joined such craftsmen of the academy as Hollander, Howard, Hecht and Hine, and not a bad thing too.