February Days

The thing is that I’ve always known

these February days, when sky

loses its lustre like a fish’s eye.

These days! I can still see

my mother white-faced in a chair

carried through white snow to the doctor’s car…

What I first saw was grey

or mezzotint, perhaps, but you

set off with colours, green and red and blue.

Out in the garden under trees

loose clothes aflutter in the breeze:

an August baby greets the world at ease

and that is why the sun shines through

your optimistic take on who,

and what on earth the world is coming to –

and sometimes why you need to use

a smudge of February haze

to mitigate the keenness of your gaze.