It’s not so long ago that I stood at midnight
Under the white blossoms of the trees
I had not known the streets to be so perfect
Nor that I could find in this city peace.

But the blossoms under the streetlights
Became a blur of distant halos
Glowing and trembling with a whiteness
Unknown to me in this dirty busy city.

There was purity in the clarity of
Their gentle iridescence
And they reminded me of a
Dark northern street far away
Where the drooping branches hung
Like stilled raindrops, and I moved alone again.

And the dead seemed to me to speak
In their words were comfort, a closeness
I could never decipher in the waking
Brightness of the lurid day.

Perhaps it was because alone I lingered
And was not bothered by any living thoughts
The burst of stars above my head were
The only hidden faces that I saw.

And now the moment is gone, and I long
For the peace of the blossoms at midnight
I thought before that only in blank oblivion
I could finally be free, but in the darkness
Of the city streets and their March blossoms
I found another kind of liberty.

 

Rose Staveley-Wadham

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