a japanese gardener

A Japanese Gardner

There’s this
Japanese gardener
who looks 40
but is
probably 60.


He’s less than
five feet tall &
looks so
Japanese he’s like
the essence of


He drives a
rusted 50s pickup
loaded with
tools &
garden trimmings.


I clean windows
for a customer who
last time
I was out there
if I knew a
good gardener.
Then yesterday
I saw the
Japanese gardener
in my
rear-view mirror,
loading his
tools on the
far side of a
grass divide.
I got out of
my van &
walked over,
told him about
the people
in need of
a gardener.


“I don’t take
new customers,”
he said in a
soft refined voice.
“I have
regular customers,
and if I were to
take on more,
it would
detract from
the quality of
my work.
But thanks
for asking.”


He smiled.
“You’re the
window cleaner,”
he said.


“Yes,” I said.


“The window
cleaner & the
he said, &
still smiling,
climbed into
his truck &
drove away.

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