It was as if – by Frank McMahon
we fled to the forest and the hills,
dug ditches, erected palisades, set
sentries at intervals around. And waited.
Messengers came with news of deaths
and from the temple, orders,
about infiltration. Strangers we sent away.
We waited, looking sideways at each other,
fed ourselves as best we could.
Then we saw, as if we had new sight,
that dew was making brush strokes revealing
what we had overlooked: white blossom
of hornbeam and chestnut, the sky wiped
clear of mote and cloud. The land
filled with birdsong, larks and mewing kites.
For some this world was new,
gilding their watchful stares with smiles
and startled revelation.
For us it was an older world returned,
the backdrop to our childhood’s careless
pass through. Now we walked more
slowly, attending and exploring,
the air tense with fret and wonder,
almost a time of innocence returned.