Listen to our syncopated hop skip
and our plucking of rosebuds and daisies.
As children in spring, smiles tug on our lips,
and the warm rising sun lights our faces.
Wrists are laced with daisies like many suns,
the rosebuds round our necks are like lockets
waiting to be opened. We laugh and run
as petals overflow from our pockets.
Hand-in-hand, steps weave in and out of time
among the fresh budding flowers. We play,
oblivious to the brightening sun:
springtime to summer, and morning to day.
No longer children, we look to the sky
for a breath, we see the blue and the white
then the hot blazing sun. Blinded, we try
to navigate onward, to gain some sight –
torn by the pursuit of the light, our hope,
and the awareness that night will come near
and surround us. Soon the darkness will rope
around our necks, but we ignore it. Here:
surrounded by light, surrounded by life.
But then summer’s scattered footprints decay:
crabapple blossoms fallen from trees lie
wilting along with the light of the day.
Listen to the rustle of trembling leaves,
their whispers clash with the bite of the air.
The rusting sky echoes that of the trees,
but the rust inside us cannot repair.
It seems these days could trudge through clouds of rain:
step after step after step after step.
Our hands – with skin like tree bark – crack and wane.
Step after step after step after step.
Hands cling together – braced against the cold
that we know will come. We see the sun sink
into the horizon – we reach out, try
to trap it in our hands. But then we blink.
The syrup of the sky turns into tar,
darker and darker and darker – then black.
The only light comes from the fading stars.
We want the sun, the spring, the daylight back.
It’s now too dark to see the missing hands
once inside ours. The footprints beside us
fade with a final thump. Silence expands
round us like a blanket – blades of frost cut
into every step on the barren ground.
The snow muffles every breath, every cry
when we finally understand that we
can’t reach up and pluck the stars from the sky.