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  • Writer's pictureAmber

Not Yet Four

The last in my week of poetry, this seemed appropriate as we begin November: a reflection on dark evenings, written at University.


Not yet four,

And the grey steals through

The crack in my window

To tempt the light out of the dim-dressed room.

Come four-thirty,

I could quite happily

Be sitting before a fire

Toasting mittened hands, pretending I’d done a full day’s work.

Say five o’ clock -

Transport me back to ’95

And tell me happy tales

Of Pooh, Piglet and their flood of water over tea and crumpets.

A clock strikes six,

And speaking of water

I can see the lamplight

Echo in the pools they used to call paths in the garden,

When chimes six-thirty

And into the soggy darkness

Troop reluctant students,

Traipsing, squelching, sloshing, scurrying to hall.

By seven o’ clock

The day’s ghost has more

Than two hours to its name.

General hibernation of man, bird and beast ensues,

While eight o’ clock

Brings yet more rain

To chill the darkness,

Soggy shoes and wet whose heads would venture out

Past nine at night,

When things used to begin -

We all now hide inside

Trying what will beguile the long night hours.

I’ll fight it out,

And I’ll be Jo

Eating apples in the garret

And crying over a novel while I write it;

I’ll be Pooh-bear,

Floating an up-turned umbrella

Up and down the swollen Cherwell;

I’ll be Peter Pan,

Inventing in my head great feasts

And rescuing Tiger-Lily from her stranded rock;

I’ll make a play,

And as my childhood self spend hours

Hauling costumes from a box under the bed.

I’ll just be me,

And complain in ‘whining poesie’ –

For reasons best-known to myself,

I’m trying to avoid the night, you see.

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