I heard the crunch of tyres on the stony ground still,
as it stopped on the grassy verge and outpoured
chattering children and gathering grownups. Nearby
the yapping of a small dog, running freely amongst
the cars disturbing someones quiet moments, and
threatening to knock over the frail taking a walk
in the afternoon sunshine – after a long year sitting.
I felt the sting of tears as I stood alone, cherishing
the sights and sounds despite my sorrowing soul.
I look over the cliffs and see the the lumbering
shapes of cows stopping to munch at the green
grass, kept fresh by the rainy days, they chew
slowly dripping saliva as they relish the juiciness,
and then they slowly subside onto a fresh patch
and resolutely chew their sweet cud while small
patterned calves run between them on their too
long wobbly legs, eating the grass and drinking
the much needed sustenance from the udders.
I saw overhead and heard the call of Choughs
as they jounce through the air showing off their
joy at the world. A greenfinch zee zees in the
blackthorn and a charm of goldfinches swarm
around the dandelion clocks chirping. High
on a tree a blackbird calls and then a thrush
puffs out his breast and sings a song to warn
of coming storms and yet the joy in his heart
tumbles from his beak into a my bleak living.
I walk on and hear a child cry with delight at the
sight of the choices of ices and eyes wide they
look at labels of chocolate, honey, blueberry til
a decision with precision, a waiting smile, hands,
ready to receive the precious taste of holidays
and special events that have long since been
a rarity in their vicinity and well merited now,
melting into small mouths and reviving them
with sugars and colours and tastes and smells.
Everywhere there are daisies and buttercups
brightening the brown earth where nature
produces orchids early and harebells late,
bluebells to mirror a sky of blue on earth,
garlic to fill the air with a pungent delight
and blackberries flowering, preparing the
fruit of jams, jellies, crumbles and pies.
All through them the gorse spikes shine
gold, spreading their honey scent wide.
I walk on with winter in my wretched heart, and
return towards my home poignantly pondering,
wondering, and wanting to applaud the joy
and hope in all those happy sticky faces,
and gritty shoes and wished again that my
little ones were here amongst them – and not
locked away by a vile virus that blocks them.
mocks my aching empty arms and I look at
at the summer through a veil of trickling tears.