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The Cloister in Sant Cugat, January 1983

Two holly trees, just out of their Christmas berries,

Three cypresses, tall in the corner,

A lonely orange tree, missing the sun of the south,

Grow in the garden,

Surrounded by the silent, arching walks

Of the cloister,

Of double pillars topped with well-worked stone,

With leaves and fruit and saints and birds,

Carved when there was time to carve.

In the hub of the little garden

Where the four paths meet,

A fountain in a hollowed stone,

Covered with ferns,

Jumps up towards the sky,

And then falls down tired

At its own feet.

The garden is neglected now.

The trees and flowers grow where they will,

But still, unkempt, it smiles and whispers clear,

With hair unbrushed and dirty face,

To the few that walk in the four walls square,

Or sit a while on the old stone bench,

‘When you need me, I am always here.’