One For Sorrow

… and I’m rinsing out cups of morning coffee,
metered water flows unchecked.
Through the window I’m looking at
a magpie sitting in spring willow.
Buds hang like droplets on wire –
and I think, whilst drying my hands,
“give us time”.

And I’m driving the car into town,
passing the parched summer verges,
waving mentally, “morning, Mr Magpie” –
one tugging at a flattened rabbit.
I’m wondering at the miracle we ever met
and pray, turning a blind corner,
“please – time”.

And I’m cutting off rosehips in a cool breeze,
pulling at tawny, drying leaves,
marvelling at the existence of children,
two for joy, made from history –
no regrets, but I’m wishing,
“if only, time again”.

And I’m putting rubbish bags out
in snow – black on white.
It’s early hours, most are sleeping.
Nostalgia is a moth fluttering at the lamp,
a shadow on light,
and a waste of time.

© Caroline Fox Betts 2010

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