When I return with mugs of peppermint tea
you are asleep in the October sunshine –
a fallen golden birch leaf at your feet,
a last wasp buzzing in your shadow.
We have grown old together, ancient
in our ways. But age is a wrinkled
masquerade. ‘Old clothes upon old sticks
to scare a bird,’ as Yeats wrote, at sixty,
a mere stripling. We seem sole survivors
of our youth and prime – so many dead
have fallen by the way.