RSVP by Terry O’Shaughnessy

Though I am an old atheist
your invitation is like a call to prayer.
For too long
only letters to Father Christmas–
only English garden memoirs–
have stacked the bookshelves
of the palace
of desire.

You may expect me soon
in my wide-brimmed hat
to give me shade
so that
when I kneel–
at last at last on the starving road–
I may hang our tree
with half-remembered rhymes,
like a crown of new leaves.

Terry O’Shaughnessy is a Hudson-based writer, gardener, and kayaker who is editor of Your Local Journal newspaper and a blogger with the Montreal Gazette’s West Island Edition.

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