* * *
The tree in front of our window brightens like a candle -
light eats its leaves from top to bottom.
There is a strong wind and the tree shivers
a whirl of shadows and green; its branches thin fingers.
The noise is reminiscent of much wider spaces - woods and a sweeping river –
and also of summer, though the days are growing shorter.
We unpack, we’re taming an address.
All the necessary furniture is still missing,
books are strewn across the floor,
glasses are piled on the windowsill
I'm sort of fussing.
We will soon discover that the previous tenant has forgotten
a clock that ticks loudest just before we sleep
and that the curtains in the bedroom
don't let light in –
every morning I'll think it's raining.
But now we throw up our hands from the clothes,
and the empty cupboards,
and listen to the voice of the tree outside.
My head is on your shoulder,
the sun comes to lie at our feet.
* * *
In the evening’s chalice - last drops of sun,
cherry tree dust.
We’ve forgotten how to behave in the presence of such joy -
crystal, forever younger than ourselves.
A boy catches a cloud of pink, hands it - a blooming blossom -
to the girl beside him.
They might be us, it's hard to tell.
Across the street is a foreign country.
* * *
PARC LEOPOLD ON SUNDAY
A flock of little birds rises and dives, and rises again over the lake.
The hours have rolled into the palm of a child feeding the swans.
It's Sunday where I am -
wearing my autumn blue shoes,
a little tired.
It’s Sunday where I am not -
where roasted chestnuts are sold on the street,
trams are orange and old,
and someone else is learning to play the piano.
The light solemnly says goodbye.
Afternoons like this make me want to write poems about the smell of chimney smoke,
about the unread books at home
and about first loves.
Of course, on such afternoons
I don't carry a notebook with me.