They’ve waited long to spring
their traps on unsuspecting passers-by,
these sleeper-cells that occupy
the rubble, rust and rot
across the street. Today, the plea
of this abandoned plot
is heard at last. Today,
although habitually indifferent
to every glimpse of heaven-sent
or earth-erupting hues,
the filing crowds can’t fail to turn
their heads. They get me too,
these fresh but achingly
familiar blooms, these words I learned to love
before I felt the meaning of
their soft-yet-piercing phrase.
They pour from every crevice now
to paint the pavement-grey
cerulean. The voice
that taught me once, in slowly ebbing sing-
song tones, to call each fragile thing
by its distinctive name,
and this that breaks to call me back,
is one if not the same.
The river, buoyant, runs
the errands of a coupling season, calls
each thing to take the plunge. We’re all
invited. Sky in spate
among the wading reeds, we reach
its banks by kissing-gates
and paths of root and rill.
Within its depths of co-engendered bliss,
its borrowed blue, where being is
to see and to be seen,
this greying willow, gnarled and stooped,
may know itself as green.
The bridge beckons. Two arcs
now come full circle here, where mirrors mend
the merely half by making ends
and new beginnings meet.
By crossing over, under vaults
immersed entwined, our feet
may tread, as one, a more-
than-common ground; may walk, beyond the stiles
and cattle-grids, those winding aisles
where April’s gloom gives way
to hedges hung with galaxies
of bright and bridal may.
Daniel Gustafsson has published volumes of poetry in both English and Swedish, most recently Fordings (Marble Poetry, 2020). New poems appear in Ekstasis, The North American Anglican, Amethyst Review, The Brazen Head, Trinity House Review, and elsewhere. Daniel lives in York, England. Twitter: @PoetGustafsson