All the world’s a garden centre
And all the men and women merely customers.
They have their checkouts and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His visits being seven ages.
First, the infant,
Yelling and crying in his all-terrain stroller.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his gameboy
And scowling morning face, bored by all he sees,
Until the animatronic reindeer arrive in mid-September.
And then the lover, sighing like a furnace,
With a woeful text to his girlfriend about
How his mother had to stop on the way.
Next, the influencer, seeking a sausage roll
And a power tool for his next ‘unboxing’.
Then the PR consultant, now behind the stroller,
Feigning an interest in his wife’s roses;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
To the retiree, whose rose garden is his pride and joy,
His wife mostly absent at the golf course. Last scene of all
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and such oblivion
That you take the bus to the garden centre to shop for clothes.