Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Circle of Life

Surely only a handful of summers have passed
Since I jumped the chalked squares
On the shiny black slugs of melting tarmac?
Long halcyon days filled with playgrounds and parks
In which hung a shimmering heat-haze
That levitated above the hot speckled concrete.
Holidays of sipping iced-lemonade, with skin tinged pink
From the rays which danced in the palest of blues.
Surely only a small bouquet of nights have passed,
Each nocturnal hour filled with soft scents of blossom,
Since I read of the Famous Five by the landing's pale glow.

And now my reflection is patterned with lines of middle age.
How did I sink like a painted pebble into these murkey depths?
Did I skim that stone before it sank?
Polish it against my hip before hurling it
Seawards; to bounce and pirouette upon the surface?
And why does my mother's face look back from the mirror?
Is it a trick of the light? Her tired eyes, her lips,
Puckered with a life of coversation.
A private prank played on me by shadows, as
The poised pencil that draws the circle of life,
Rises, tick by slow tock, to meet its starting point.

By Angela Barton