The Four Corners of the Circle

Seasons are relative. 

Shoots burst forth, buds harden 

in the kindergarten. 

There are snowdrop faces. 

Crocuses learn to tie laces. 


Young mothers are summer, 

confidently at their best 

in dungaree and tie-died vest. 

Hot and healthy days 

shine from their gaze. 


At the bowls club it is autumn. 

Darby stands beside Joan. 

Soon one of them will be alone, 

missing their late partner as if 

a limb had been cut off. 


In the old people’s home, snow drifts 

over furniture. Radiators cannot 

compete, however hot. 

Cold drills through to the bone. 

The funeral director’s on the phone. 


An end to everything? No. 

These geriatrics will reappear 

unstoppably next year 

in playgroup and crèche, 

energetic and fresh. 


They will embody new life, 

not remembering last time round 

before they rested in the ground, 

before germination occurred 

like a repeated word. 

uncollected, © Paul Groves 2023, used by permission of the author

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.