The second weekend in spring 2020

People’s Park on a grey Saturday afternoon.  

Grey clouds, high and distant, huge and abundant,  

race across the sky. I can hear the wind but I don’t feel it. 

Just the grey and the cold 

 

My bike’s tyres loud on the concrete path.  

Swerve to avoid scissored daffodils  

scattered around the bandstand 

 

green stems and yellow heads lie fallen  

like sweets lost from children's sticky hands and  

now-empty pockets. Hooded smokers lean over  

the bandstand’s rails, smirks on their shadowed faces 

six feet between them, and only their smoke mixes  

as they stare out together across the park.  

 

The grass, too long, unkempt, tufted as if  

mines have been carelessly laid for the careless.  

 

On past the shuttered café and the disconsolate  

pigeons perched on the peak of its roof.  

Past the pond, the lonely fountain and the famine of ducks,  

a tree trunk, burnt and blasted, bark, like alien armour,  

peeling and torn, floats static, stuck at the edge 

 

On past unread graffiti, a dread tree sprawled against  

the grey sea, families walking in their generations 

a child alone, sitting at the end of a bench beneath  

the dread treevacant beneath her fringe 

 

On with the grey and the cold until 

a single drop of rain on my lower lip. 

Contact

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Or find Alistair Wilkinson @algy04 on twitter.

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