The Next Day

The thin crack in the pale gray clouds
Silently open and the light gets in,
Just like Leonard said it would,
And the wet dark day is transformed.
A tall white-trunked tree stands proud and solitary
Against the blue sky, its shadow a hand on the dial.

At 30 degrees above the horizon,
The sun shines down impersonally
On good and bad alike and washed clean
Of last year’s karma, the soul of the earth
Stretches and preens and tosses its head,
Stripping the trees to reveal bare black skeletons

With arthritic limbs studded with buds
Like tiny furled fists ready to open at the least encouragement.
From out of cars and down paths and behind bushes,
From sidewalks and shortcuts and skyways, they arrive,
The sparrows and crows and gulls,
The joggers and children and old women with dogs,

The men with fishing poles and the mothers with babies,
All grabbing at the blue sky – for all had heard
More rain was on the way which is greeted with relief
As well as dismay by a thirsty land and its people.
A woman with a long white scarf that is echoed by her long white hair
Strides past the pond overtaking the bent lady in red pushing a walker.

Two fisherman, one old and one young, heads together,
Rods leaning against shoulders, hands holding delicate lines,
Stand in high grass and debate the merits of various lures.
Brisk winds from the north loft the football from the hands
Of the teenage boys who play amongst the children
Freshly sprung from nearby schools who run through playgrounds shouting.

A toddler, legs pumping in wavy circles, races across the field
Chased by a mother who calls out his name while another
Pushes arm-waving twins in a stroller pony tail bobbing with each step.
Dogs arrive, straining at leashes, noses to the ground,
Tails in the air, bodies twitching with energy,
Ready to leap and run, Jack-in-the-box with joy.

A young man starts his rusty Ford pick-up
And sings about fast women and faster cars
As the sun sinks slowly towards the tree line,
The clouds let loose the folds of their white skirts,
The edges quietly flowing across the sky
And settling in for an extended stay.

Wearing the face of an ancient Aztec,
An old man in bedroom slippers shuffles past
And raises one horn-hard hand,
Curved fingers tipped with yellow nails,
In acknowledgement of this person’s presence.

 

Here is a link to the ‘Leonard’ reference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDTph7mer3I

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2 thoughts on “The Next Day

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