Seen from behind parked cars and walls of privet
the endless august afternoons appear
stacked in terraced masses.
Haunted by a weight of days to come
a child plays hopscotch alone,
dry soles scraping dry stone,
waiting for the afternoon to end
and drown in a sunset orgy of red.
The sound of ice cream vans and fairgrounds
can’t break the trance.
No great sorrows rock the suburbs,
but the sea is a long way off.
Going inside she stares in the mirror
trying to see the face she should invent,
in her dreams something struggles towards birth.
Red iron water seeping out of the clay
through the black betrayal of last year’s leaves
makes her think of all those buried queens –
will they rise and take the world again?