Leave: Paid and Unpaid
I have moved through summer
on the dream that summer
will last forever: how good it is
to open the curtains to the sun,
to get onto my knees to scrub
the floor, to stretch my arms up
to pin sheets to the line, to tie
back my hair and get on with
painting the fence; repairing things;
mending winter’s rents and tears.
The nasturtiums are covered
in little black upstanding eggs that
as time goes by, turn to caterpillars,
grow and shed their skins five times,
eat leaves to lacy skeletons, then
to stubs of stem, like amputations.
Things grow in random places, ferns
climb the wall; mullein spike through
stones; something starred with dark blue
and yolky yellow flowers, creeps through
the hedge and up the bird feeder.
Horse radish in the lawn, trees planted
by birds in the flower beds, buddleia
blown by the wind to stony crevices
to root, blossom; as once they followed
the railway lines, using the pull of air
from trains to escape from the big houses,
make their way across the countryside.
So it is that exotics become weeds; I read
of a couple who become lost amongst
the rhododendrons and have to be rescued
from that foreign forest on home ground.
I don’t feel out of place, just a little con-
fused. Time isn’t what it used to and some
times I hear its winged chariot revving up.
Best is when I’m just afloat, drifting with
the hours – I get plenty done, or nothing.