Robert, by Gary Ferguson
I saw you for the first time
today: or rather I saw an image
of you, black-and-white, tattered at
the edges, standing in front of
a white-washed cottage, a hay rake
in one hand, a bunch
of meadow flowers in the other.
Today, I saw an image of
you: slight, scrawny, a little vain perhaps
in that trilby hat and groomed grey
beard, looking like Lawrence lived
beyond his forty-four years
or Freud without the phallic cigar
andLe Corbusier glasses.
In the end, there would be no renowned
for you: just an ordinary life lived
ordinarily, then a kind of oblivion, surviving
in memory, snatches and snippets
resurrected over tea; it is an immortality
of sorts, fleeting posterity.
No, there would be no renowned,
no fame, though no-one, I heard, could
stack hay like you, heaping it high, hewing it
like stone, shaping it like clay, until
it stood splendid, shining in the summer sun.