Today I find you wandering.

It is clear that for hours before daylight

The wind has been scouring and tearing

At you. Your make-up, your hair though

A defiant last stand. You have broken up

Like a grand house at the end of the Season.

Now, in which room, where, do I find you?

We find a wall in something I say

And huddle behind like children playing “houses”

Ah! At last, relief!—these few words,

A sunny corner out of the wearing wind,

As traffic along the highway flares and sears,

Wears and wears and does not abate.

Although it is Spring, it is cold,

The air brightly malicious like magpie-beaked gossip

With its promises and its treachery. All

The new blossom overblown like advertising.

Abruptly, as soon as I speak again, bricks crumble

And you are ragged in a barren valley,

Dressed only in the veils djinns whip about you.

And I cannot give—or make, or find

A door, or its key, to a new day for you,

Ticket or passport away from here

Where voices, with hammering feathers

Flurrying like snow, flock and smother you.

Then hugger-mugger, a fusillade of blue wrens,

Like the guerilla-spray of rain against a windscreen, explodes

From among the bergamot-scented wattle

And, as if by prior arrangement, drop like flung grain,

To feed beneath this window. Settled

They chirrup and bicker and flit and busy in their simply being.

And there’s a clear space around you.

Like one who having wiped the kitchen bench clean

Looks out, and receives what the day outside is giving

—Light, perfume, birds’ voices,

And breathes it in.

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