The Master’s House

He wandered because
he could, the rest of us stayed
because we had to.

He crossed the line. We
watered the grass, deadheaded
the rhododendrons,

pruned the trees. We said
‘teach us self-liberation’
because he said to.

When he did not re-
turn, we found envelopes for
each of us, some cash,

a few trite poems.
The house is closed. We tend the
garden. Visitors

enjoy the grounds. We
smile, say ‘self-liberation’
as they turn to go.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at and other sites.

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