I had come indoors defeated by the sight of a new slew of debris
in next door's front garden.
I just couldn't quite face picking it all up again
but as the house is now empty,
no one else is going to do it.
It was then that I noticed
the cobwebs on the pine cones
in one of my little arrangements.
You know the sort of thing.
A bowl of pebbles
lovingly collected on the shore last summer,
covered in dust.
A basket of shells, ditto.
joined by buttons, a plectrum, a paperclip, a screw,
some loose change, a receipt and a blob of Blu-tack.
All quite charming when first displayed
but silently deteriorating
into a miniature replica of the mess outside.
So I got out the vacuum cleaner
and vacuumed the pine cones,
isolated and rinsed the marbles,
washed the shells,
and the pottery fragments
that you find so thrillingly in the garden.
And then I went back and rescued
this bunch of fake flowers
because I think I know someone who would like them.