What have the sunflowers lost?
Look at them all, heads bent down heavy,
anxiously, earnestly searching the ground.
Or maybe they hear Persephone
raped and tattered and scared
crying down there for her mother.
There’s nothing they can do.
Swallows are lined up on the wire now:
black beads on a string
Once more I’m getting fat
like I was after the baby was born
but now I don’t have that excuse.
I’ll never have that excuse again.
We drove along roads that had been closed,
gravel thick along the shoulders.
New channels carved in the river.
Back home, a catbird perched
on top of a wild apple tree
pretended to be somebody else.
This was written years ago, after the flood that took out the twin bridges in Bristol.