Looking Back

Looking Back

All I remember

is how the blackbirds sang,

how the tulips flaunted their colours

undaunted; the peonies came early,

careless and extravagant in their scarlet dresses,

and the lilac was weighed down

with heavy-scented blossom.

In the secret wood, the brook kept flowing,

glinting between clay-muddied banks,

brimful with ten thousand flowers

of wild white garlic.

Slowly the oak tree put on

its summer coat and day after day

the sun kept shining.

My heart was with the jagged cry

of an unseen woodpecker.

At night, the stars

were all in their accustomed places,

and we watched, we listened

and we waited.

Roger Turner