Sport 7: Winter 1991
♣ Andrew Johnston
There is a swift river in flood;
I am on the wet bank
trying to tether a heavy raft
when the phone rings somewhere else.
'All that worry, there's no need for that.'
Your voice comes back to me where I am
with a request for pinenuts, eggplant, capers
and the doctor's reassuring diagnosis. Soon
the raft will break up on the rapids;
I can no longer picture its cargo.
Into each life some rain must fall
but April was the wettest on record.
There's something to be said, they say,
for looking on the bright side
but the stock get carried away
by seasonal fluctuations,
the river wants to cover the field.
I've a good mind to get out
the dusty tuba father blew,
to play it by ear till the cows come home.
I can never remember
the names of the flowers
but Sylvia is in her
element here—the garden
after rain giving back
the house the shape it had.
Alonsoa, polyanthus ...
each a bright coin
to spend in conversation.
The way they roll off the tongue.