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