The damson tree which has my back,

Used to be Zap,

My first and most beloved dog who walked,

through death and childbirth,

Loyally at my feet.

 

The soaring fir trees were neat eggs of topiary,

The lawn was a productive vegetable bed.

 

The shelves I clear

As I leave

22 years behind

Are full of names now grown and flown

And policies made redundant,

by parliamentary tumbling.

 

Ten, twelve,

tiny outfits used to fit

the same washing machine,

That now can only swallow three,

long football kits,

That will all too soon leave home.

 

I am grateful as I tuck my knees into my chest to sleep that I still can,

Curl like a baby,

Aware that a time will come when I stiffen straight.

 

On waking I run my hands over my numb arm,

My hips,

My waist,

And am pleased to find myself still intact,

I give thanks for another day on this sweet soil.

 

As I listen to the blackbird and amuse myself watching the buttercups grow,

I remind myself to inhale deeply,

For there are not limitless springs

To fire my belly and

Send me forward into life.