I was just starting to prune
the many little branches
sprouting from the base
of each of the four tall maples
the stand along the back of our yard.
He came over to the corner
of his yard where it meets mine—
my new neighbor
who is converting his house
to a Thai restaurant—
and asked if I needed a chain saw;
“Neighbours are like family,” he said.
A half hour later, when he had cut
all of the little branches
and some big ones
so that the trees were all cleared
of sprouts and the back of my yard
was filled with branches and leaves,
he asked if I wanted to see
the work he had been doing
on the new restaurant.
The main work so far
had been installing the foundation
for a massive I-beam
that I could see in place
on its concrete supports
under the building.
“We need that to support
the heavy commercial equipment
for the new restaurant kitchen,”
said his wife, snuggling against his arm.
As they showed me the new walk,
the new staircase, the place where
the little garden house would be,
the place under the tree where
customers would sit under the pergola
in warm weather, I thought
how dreams can be happy
when such people dream them.