The river’s going to turn soon
I think, in your voice,
as I walk across the bridge at Richmond;
early evening, late afternoon.
Before you flew
you and I made a day to mostly window-shop.
You bought a shirt: the brightest yellow I remember.
I’m wondering how it looks on you, there,
in artificial glare,
while cyclists mount the pavement without lights,
despite it being early in the year and late in the day.
Red neon on The White Cross stares without blinking.
A barge used for puppet shows,
shut for the season, bobs in its restraints;
no children came today, nor will they tomorrow.
I’ve been inside for weeks.
The bedroom where I write gets too much sun:
I’ve kept the curtains drawn,
I couldn’t tell you what the weather’s been.
Work’s going on.
It was bright when we walked here,
in the opposite direction, but further,
then, from Spring.
A rowing boat glides beneath my feet—
it takes four well-drilled men to edge it forward
but from here I can’t tell how much they’re putting in.
Their uniform broad backs in lettered vests
are a frieze of muscle memory;
do most things for long enough
the outward signs will disappear.
It looks like rain. What I’m trying to say is not to worry—
I’m just swallowing the hours.
You’re still in the world somewhere in yellow;
all that unpleasantness last year’s starting to seem old news.
It’s gone the way you said it would when you were here.
For Christ’s sweet sake, come home.