The stag above the door.
I’ve never noticed him before, today, I keep looking at him to stop looking at you.
We could be in Switzerland or Carpathians but no, this is Sutton Park.
I peer into my book and glasses chink in your hands, but you serve no one.
I have been your only customer in 100 days.
In my book, the plague started during apple season.
What used to be a cheery harvest, turned to rot.
You, it seems, have harvested your apples – chalked on the board’s ‘pick your cider’.
Sun is still high at the edge of the lake but my window is dark,
the curtains haven’t been drawn in months.
Owls stir in their deepest sleep, their wings fleeing in the sunshine.
I blink. Do you ever think of owls, I wonder.
I sense things these days, the forest smells of aftershave,
all the city people taking showers before their walks.
I see things, like your veiny hands hanging wine glasses upside down.
One of the drops has trickled down your temple, you let it slide.
I hear things – birds cawing as if they were inside with us.
A flock of ravens is an unkindness we don’t need reminding off.
We need good omens – you and I. Perhaps, I could blow you a kiss into safe distance.
Across the pond, fat fish are exposed now that water has cleared,
You look across and say: “storms never last long in this country”.
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