The Quiet Life

You’re not ready for the seasons
to go out of fashion – reliant as ever
on the shutting of doors
against September chill,
on streets emptied of tourists,
schoolchildren, the usefully employed.

Not ready to let go what might be
the last of the quiet life, before all
the hiding-places have been exposed
and the mind-reading technologies kick in
and the innocence of solitude
and thought itself, is no more.

Here’s to seeping birdsong, in fields
of marshy calm; of wondering which
is rain-cloud, which the lateness of afternoon
as your diligent neighbour wheels
her bicycle and her day
through the gates and home.