The end of the long cloudless afternoon
comes when the lazy birds rise from the trees.
The young men laugh and run and shout and tease
while older heads look for the rising moon.
Then later, full of cheese and bread and beer,
itinerant workers sharpen up their strings
and, all bedecked in flowers, our sweet young things
flash heels and eyes as if to say “Come here!”
But her eyes are not there within the dance.
The harvest moon recalls me to the scythe
and, remembering what it was to be alive,
I make the long strokes sing, and curse cruel chance.
Come, winter! Come. My mood suits you more well –
no dance for me, just lonely tales to tell.