Every day I ride my bicycle: no-one around
but shying rabbits and cabbage moths;
but today you rise from the grass beside the path
to catch my eye and ask:
O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days? *
Why aren't you washing pens and brushes,
the world an egg for tempura, safe beside you
I ride on and watch the cornflowers bloom against
the faded bricks of warehouses,
and then, a stream goes riddling through a glade.
Few but us will see, when we look up, that wild trees circle higher
than the crows, yet keep their branching feathers;
or that a landscape-worker makes a golden chalice
with her hard-hat in the light reflected
from exhausted traffic.
Oh how hold out the siege? Kenny? What do you say?
I hold my breath in case you do not answer,
and all the time there was
transforms to now without your guidance.
* Shakespeare, Sonnet 65: 5-6
Marilyn Bowering is a Canadian poet
and fiction writer