On special occasions
he wears his sash and frilly hat
to indicate he is the representative
of a strange and uninhabited country.
He shuffles through the yard
to each and every tree and shrub
with a deep bow and muttered obsequies.
They say he hasn't been the same
since his wife died. There are children
who live in distant cities but never visit.
The rest of the time he can be seen
sitting at the kitchen table in his bathrobe
staring at the calendar, waiting
for the next day circled in red