Written around this time last year, for a celebration.

It’s that point in the year again.
We know that spring is here,
But it can’t quite loosen winter’s gnarled fingers
From around the tree trunks.
I couldn’t resolve how I felt,
Or what I wanted,
But then the decision was taken from me,
And now I can say with certainty that the year has moved on.
We saw the first swallows
And they seemed so happy to be back,
Dancing in the air, relieved and refreshed,
Already looking quite at home.
To say that this is the time for new life
Is too simplistic,
I realise that now.
This is a time of great change,
And change has always been something that I’ve struggled with,
And maybe this spring will be the hardest of my life so far,
But summer, after all, is not that far away.
So I look behind, and I look ahead.
I had never seen the sunrise until that night, the night that we lost you.
Usually, the silhouettes of the trees
Against the pink and blue skies
Mean the end of a day to me,
But that time they were a beginning.
We saw two clouds that we thought looked like vultures.
I’ve always loved vultures.
I was so happy when I finally saw them last summer
And of course, you’ve seen them too.
I used to watch them, circling in the sky,
And think that they looked so purposeful
As if they were marking the time passing.
Not waiting, just watching,
Watching as the world goes by beneath them.
Because, of course, life goes on,
And I think that’s what those vultures in the sunrise were trying
to tell us.
The twilight and the dawn are the between-times,
Not quite day and not quite night,
The sky is only a slightly different shade of blue than it was in the day,
Yet it’s darker than before on the ground,
And we don’t quite know what to make of it.
So this, the dawn, is a new between-time for me,
And I think that spring, too, is a between-time.
We haven’t quite thrown off winter,
But however much we long for summer,
However much we sit outside and ignore our shivers,
It’s not really here yet and it won’t be for a while.
There are no leaves on the trees, but the flowers are a promise.
Just recently, there have been primroses everywhere.
We went for a walk and the fields were covered with them, all around us,
And I suppose that’s what life will be like now.
You’ll still always be here,
And I’ll see you in the primroses.

Header: Primroses on cliff path, March 2015.


One thought on “Primroses

  1. I was reading through your poems again and it just now occurred to me that you probably wrote this piece in honour of your aunt. Suddenly I feel like I understand it so much more.


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