The face of the stone lion
has turned white due to weather and time,
two things I understand very little of,
being neither meteorologist nor physicist.
I only know that he reminds me
of a Celtic warrior about to pick a fight,
milky streaks spreading
through the dark copper of his mane.
A stone lion is the best kind of lion to have,
for he requires no meat
and will never turn on you with any sudden wildness.
Being stone, he looks no more tired
than he did all those years ago.
I admire his dignified silence,
and wish I were more like him,
hardly effected by weather and time.
Maybe then the sun I’m sitting in
wouldn’t feel like it had to work so hard
to beat back the certainty of impermanence.
For the moment, though,
I somehow take hold of slippery acceptance
and wrangle it in close,
effort in one hand, surrender in the other.
For the moment, the lion comforts me,
ever gazing at the garden before him,
neither its conqueror nor its servant,
a snail passing before his dependable paws
like a tourist at a national monument.