When I was a child
it was always autumn;
with the rain and fungus
the fruit and promise
the leaf-mould and running gutters
where fat worms wandered
through the clear as light water.
Once there was a frog,
grey and spangled at the thigh
exact yellow, exact black.
It would rain and I would wait
in the car and try to count
the droplets forming on the window
as they ran together like so many memories.
The cold would come and stalk
the stars at night
and in the morning we’d fog our laughing breath
and laugh at its whiteness
and how it came while we weren’t trying.
Exact fog white, the crispest kind.
In the afternoons we’d forget our woollen jumpers in the leaves
and traipse around at dusk
looking for that yellow cuff
in the places our games had travelled us.
We’d fill the green bucket with apples and
spend the afternoon cutting our woody
to make jelly,
fingers were slit
and the blood was exact.