All the windows gape like doors on a baker's oven.
Nothing anywhere moves with any sense of urgency
except the birds, lifting and fanning in one action.
Trees pose with formal stiffness for the lightning flash,
a leaf or two vibrating if you watch carefully,
while the unhurried sky gets its equipment together,
trowelling into place a massive baroque cloudbank,
draped and curlicued, its swollen immodest contours
ochrish like wet plaster, ice-creamy along the edges,
but the audience begins to sense that it isn't going to happen:
only the evening traffic and the next trainload of rubble
thundering towards the embankment with tired resignation.
© Brian Fewster,
Published in Poetry Nottingham 51/2, Summer 1997
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