These gifted hours

Morning persists with the bright fragility

of a bubble, transient perfection. Herons

have a characteristic stance, so does Gail,

in the road weeding her verge, bottom

scanning the sky, straight-legged she plucks

at the ground. Rob Lewis is out concreting

his well-flogged scrap of soil, gruff

Good Mornings reluctantly traded, head

down again. Blue car bowls intently

along, throws back sunlight at me,

hapless driver waves companionably

as she’s passengered onward. Who?

Friendliness is easy from her capsule world.

The field’s been cut, then. Buzzard watches,

digesting, eyes out for seconds. Thoughts

fill the next how-long, opening only for

a generous robin – robins are necessary,

really. The house with the dogs greets me

with heavy artillery barks and a hail

of small-arms yaps, one an announcement,

the other a frenzied panic attack. Peace

brothers, relax. At the widowed oak I turn

and walk back. These hours before death,

spend now, later be mugged.

each moment passes like the wind

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