We are rather formally attired
for country pursuits in the ducal woods;
me with a tie and you, I uncover,
with white suspenders and matching knickers.
Intimate stranger, forever touching
for your least kindness, forever surprising;
unpredictable as light, you bring
my heart from hiding again and again!
Earth warms. Ice melts. Seas rise. And nothing,
everything changes. Each day, we marvel.
Still flowering, for our wintry birthdays,
are fuchsias, geraniums, a rose.
As the tide turns, we watch snow drifting
landward over fields, woods, hilltops.
We turn for home – and, in the dark border
beneath the ivy, find the first snowdrop.
Our camellia flowers: hardy, exotic.
Palaces are stormed. Governments fall.
Somewhere the wind is always blowing.
We make our house tight against all weathers.
A solitary swift arrives, gliding,
banking, silent. Our daughter is born.
And verdant England is replete with bird song,
with that hushed stirring, that old, old promise.