Rain

Nothing much happening in the garden today
except for rain. A heavy downpour all night
and this morning it’s still raining, on and off.
The garden has a shabby, slumped appearance,
like someone hunched against a wall
whose raincoat isn’t up to the weather,
with leaking boots and a hat dribbling water
down the neck. We stand under the shelter
watching the rain. Our talk’s not fixed, it drifts
and our moods shift with it, lifting and falling
as the rain stops and starts. Maria madly merry,
Graham thoughtful. Banter. Chatter. Laughter.
Birdsong. A kind of easy melancholy. The talk
turns to failed marriages, regret for what was done
and what was not, and how the things we can’t change
lie sodden in our hearts. That kind of day.
He lights a cigarette. A magpie flaps away
from the top of the tree. And now we’re making plans
for pebble paths and archways, while the garden
just gets on by itself. And I notice suddenly
how green everything is, the colours deepened
by the rain, the vibrancy of hedge-mustard, marigold
and apple, a power-surge of light. And there,
a burning bush with leaves as red as flames
you could warm your hands on. Maria laughs,
Graham stubs his cigarette. I drop a stone
into a trough of earth, and take a photograph.