Cold Spring

Rank sodden May, the new leaves supercharged
with water. Grass and meadow flowers in glut.
Across these lengthening days the clouds process,
coloured like bruises, spill their load and pass.
Brief bursts of sun are miserly of heat.
I stoop to set the evening fire, submerged.

The wood we’ve burned this winter! Night by night
a barrow-load has gone to ash and smoke.
Last autumn, ‘That will be enough,’ I thought,
proudly surveying the packed woodshed. Not.
My neighbour brought three lorry-loads of oak,
seasoned for twenty years, to help us out.
He asked for nothing, but accepted wine.
Daily, at six, I cross the knee-high lawn
to raid the stack. The pleasure in routine.
But will I still be doing this in June?