The month is May and the day a pearl
knifed from the shell of a spring
still steeped, unbidden,
in the cold half tea of winter.
We walk from old colleges to even older ways,
tracing palm lines that unfurl through
brook and bracken, shallow and shade,
and then, a silver-skinned river.
The river flashes its moonstruck scales
as we break from the woods onto its banks,
arching its jewelled neck to touch
the warm mouth of the sun.
Honey-baked in its soft heat,
we fling our apple pips into weaving grass,
water them with baptismal tears
and imagine a grove of apple trees.
Bonfires green and my baby blue.
Tired bones spin towards the north
as we strike out into this new world,
leaving the copse behind to rest.