Monday, 27 April 2020

before lockdown (a poem)

A storm passed through last night.
The rearguard of black clouds
Still skip across the sky.
I see city gulls soar in the lift
Of the wind over rooftop, they cry,
But from here I can't hear them.

Its was the third storm of this early spring;
A warm winter, snow unseen
A frost that barely touched us
And now the snowdrops are in flower.
The daffodils have followed, and
The first catkins shake on their trees in the wind.

Summer will follow. I've spent time again
Looking through old photograph albums
For pictures of another dead friend.
In a pretty churchyard in Stonehouse
We buried him at winter's end,
And that was when first I noticed
The first flowers of spring.

The storm passed through last night.
City gulls still wheel in the lift of the wind
That scours the grimed rooftops of our old town,
But the black cloud has fled and the clean wind
Carries the dawn as the sun pushes through;
White feathers gleam on their uplit wings.

I climb reluctantly out of bed.
On the floor beside me my old dog rolls
A languid stretch, she knows I cannot pass
Without rubbing her belly in good morning.
My chest aches, the afterguard of a cough
That has chased me through the night.

But this too shall pass, now an early sun
Brightens the cloud-chased sky in clean light.
The new year beckons,
A distant shore we've yet to find,
And across the sun-broke horizon
The city gulls still wheel and cry.

- BG, January 2020

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