People’s Park on a grey Saturday afternoon.
Grey clouds, high and distant, huge and abundant,
race across the sky. I can hear the but I don’t feel it.
Just the grey and the cold.
My bike’s tyres loud on the concrete path.
Swerve to avoid 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 tree, vacant beneath her fringe.
On with the grey and the cold until
a single drop of rain on my lower lip.