From my lips to your ears
To tell you, would be a lie—
that I’m okay. Holding it together
in dovetail, like love and hate.
Only I can’t remember the last time
someone came by with an unconcealed smile.
These days it’s WhatsApp and Zoom,
Not one to follow crowds, invasions
scare me out of my skin, so for now
my privacy is being preserved by a flimsy mask.
I have found something that works; window watching.
How the night swallows the moon, in one gulp, gone.
The sunrise is my ray of sunshine, it overthrows
the still blue sky: at the close of day
I can happily testify they have kissed and
made up—radiating what I feel inside, peace.
The slabs of thick bread are never tossed
aside as scrap, the morning larks leave
no crumbs behind: they tweet and tell me
they want pumpkin seeds for morrow’s feed.
After some frisking they too fly off.
My garden is sympathetic, sprouting
weeds in the crevices of the drive, calling me
to bend my back, wrench and pull away,
Nature is calling; it has been for some time:
guilty of turning stones, but not listening.
My friend, Mr Jennings, is 93, world wars apart and
I read him poetry; lockdown can’t be easy for him
an atom of freedom taken away, what then, is
left? The smell of summer of 1976, he tells me.
I am waiting like an object to be found
— a witness to hope.
Still, the day is kind, with five allotted segments
like this mandarin from Japan I eat: I’m in
love with the textured sweetness, it lingers
on my lips.