An invisible wood pigeon calls
from the far fringe of trees,
his fat-bodied song stuffed full of early summer.
Ad infinitum he repeats himself,
pausing only for echoes.
These city’s greens are deceptive
of a certain peace. Lovers sprawl
on new mown grass as if there’s a tomorrow,
toddlers giggle smeared with ice cream
And with the bird’s insistent refrain
I’m back in that Surrey rose-garden
where grief, though present,
was still only a dream.
How quickly a month slips by –
that hiatus between a breath and a breath
when your paper hand still held
some feeble warmth.
Ticking off each fragile gasp,
a minute is enough to know a life,
though the dead are impervious
to our childhood questions,
the truth a void they can no longer fill.
Now you’ve no need of birdsong.
But oh, that I’d spoken of what was lodged
in this pigeon heart; taken a chance
before you walked off into the night,
choosing not to look back. Afraid.
Copyright © Sue Hubbard 2016