Late, but at last a rosy Pan
Has catered to us; a month through
May before the grass sits up
And the clouds roll back,
Sucked into some seasonal storehouse.
Lethargic, we find our feet:
Time at last to slip off slippers,
Beat in the leather of new work
Boots, and set to sweating through
Twelve old t-shirts a week.
One more wipes down the sweaty windows
Of his oak-smoked home,
Determined to set foot outside
On a Saturday afternoon, thankfully
Unabandoned to football practice;
The day reclaimed, salvaged
To make what he can
Of a compost heap and three dying sycamores.
Kids are out the front door,
Off to the dog-turd, broken-glass,
Burnt patches of grass:
Parks, if you will, scattering cheers
Up and down glowing villages as
Elderly, neighbouring figures
Miss the message of spring
Lost in their back-looking lives.
How could they have ridden motorbikes?
Whipped past stirring the wind in old sultry summers?
So unthinkable now their
Skin matches the faded leathers
Hung in closets, next to
Fur coats, illicit skins from Africa,
An elephant’s foot once used for a bedside table.
Hoarded for the sake of posterity,
And perhaps one day
To give them away.