The Natural Habits of the Summer-born Child

In autumn I hunch and hesitate like an un-nectared bee
What will I do when winter comes and it all turns dark
and my once lusty part-time love withers
to a bunch of sticks scented with decay?

I’ll find a piece of silk, stitch it and hang it at my window
A lined blind of fragile, turquoise gauze covering to the sill
A kind of substitute for stained-glass wings
and high-summer crawlers, armoured like jewelled knights

I’ll borrow a sheepskin and share it with my sofa,
light candles, burn logs, succumb to Christmas
I’ll ignore whatever creeps in from my cooling compost
to skate and skitter in the warmth of my roof space

I’ll forget my love is sleeping under the slate grey sky
There’ll be comfort and Shiraz inside my pagan nest
But soon enough, a push to rebirth will begin to repaint the hard plain
and I’ll do what I do every year –

slipper-tread outside at icy six a.m.
to stroke the camellia’s firm and frosted leaves
until they drip, drip, drip in cool perfection,
like a pretty thing, for sale in a garden centre

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