Fiona Robyn now writes as Satya Robyn.
I have carried living things in my hands all week, sneaked up on
daddy-long-legs, pulled them off painted walls and held their brittle bodies.
Iíve picked up blue-black beetles like shiny stones, moved them
from inside rooms to out; they stick to my thumb, they seem
happy enough to cling on. Best of all, the two young frogs
whoíd come onto the kitchen tiles to see what they could find.
I watched them bending their tiny legs, toothpick bones inside,
felt their rubbery skin against mine as they pushed away, they were amazing.
I have held living things in my hands all week, knowing
if I wanted I could close the space between my fingers.
And I think how it might have been for those two frogs, to be lifted up
so high, so fast: and when the light comes back they could be anywhere.
I snap my neck to see what hit my head.
Itís shining in the dirt; a perfect leaf,
the size of a dinner-plate. A few steps on
it pulls me back. I bend and pick it up,
hold it at the end of the long stem.
It moves along beside me like a wing.
When I get to where Iím going to
I fold it up and slip it into my bag.
The next day I drive to a strange place
to meet a strange man in a grand hotel.
Afterwards the space inside my car
is filled with scent: apples, pine, mint.
I dig around and find my folded leaf,
shrunken, brown, it doesnít want to open
out, it cracks and splits. I wind the window,
throw it onto the soil and I am happy.
Itís just a tree most of the year
but in October it cracks open like an egg,
becomes the colour of fights, of lips
men would kill to kiss.
The leaves are lit up from within
and bursting with banquets,
chandeliers, all-night dancing.
Unable to bear their own brightness
they let go of their twigs too soon.
The tree can hardly wait to be red again.
The pint heís cupped and savoured all afternoon
mixes with the chattering track and warm, used air.
He leans back, lets his eyes close and his mouth open.
Thereís a mug of sweet tea waiting for him at home,
and a small grey dog called Charlie.
He dies quietly between Blackfriars and Temple.
Itís fourteen hours before heís found.
He is thin under his clothes, the men who lift him
put too much strength into their arms.
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