Running after rain and breathing deeply
in the just-splashed streets, I run into a wave
of guava washed over a wall: night-fruit
exhalation, courting moths. Spiralling to child again,
the dusk’s soft tent an outspread tablecloth, lit up
with tiny pin-pricks from a distant grown-up sphere.
Trapped, fidgeting through talk-lulled
dinner times, until – after eternity – we hear
the old familiar glass-on-metal scrape
as some strong-wristed aunt untwists a Consol jar,
so that the scent of heaven, pudding, can escape.
Sweet coffee drained, they tread the stairs to sleep,
full up with own-grown riches and parental cares.
And then the farm – at least as far as dam
and defunct antique tractor, chicken run,
the fence – is ours, keen children’s kingdom.
We, a tribe more certain of our sovereignty
and skill, down in that hopscotch dust –
perfecting aim and balance
with low-centre-of-gravity confidence –
than we will ever be, or have been since.
From A Whistling of Birds, a collaboration-in-progress with artist Douglas Robertson, responding to DH Lawrence’s Birds, Beasts and Flowers.
© Isobel Dixon 2020