Poetry: Sunday Morning Walk | clivejames.com
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Sunday Morning Walk

Frost on the green.
The ducks cold-footing it across the grass
Beside the college moat
Meet a clutch of matrons
Collared-up in Barbours
Walking their collies
Freshly brushed by Gainsborough.
Buoyed by the world’s supply
Of rosemary sprigs
Packed under glass,
The moorcock emerging from the reeds
Does a hesitation step
As though dancing to Piazzolla.
Cool shoes, if I may say so.
In front of the boathouses
The rowers rigging fulcrums to the shells
Bite off their gloves
To push in pins,
And the metal shines
Just short of a glitter
Because the light, though Croesus-rich,
Is kiss-soft.
Under the bridge, the iron ribs
Form a pigeon loft,
A pit lane of sports saloons
Testing their engines.
The final year
Of the finishing school for swans
Passes in review,
Watched by the cob, his nibs,
Who at Bayreuth once
Had a glide-on role
In “Lohengrin,”
But this is better.
Winter regatta,
Unspoiled by even
Yesterday’s litter
Spilling from the bins,
Is it any wonder
That I never left you?
Remember this day,
It’s already melting.

The New Yorker, 9th July 2007