During a spring shower in Holland Park,
I take shelter in clamorous chatter
Of an ethnic cafeteria,
buy orange juice and chocolate,
drink coffee from a paper cup.
After the rain; the scent of tree-lined paths.
Bright green leaves drip on rainbows of tulips
in rectangle boxes of damp earth beds.
On a long wooden bench in the water garden,
two men eat white bread sandwiches spread
on newspaper laps.
Watch the three-tiered fountain splash lily pads
like diamonds in a dance.
Some of the shrubs are still here, he said.
Spring bulbs multiply every year.
Even after the big storm,
most of the trees remain,
but it’s not the same.
All these people,
and no-one to remember my name.
The ground remembers,
His companion said.
The ground remembers everything.
Every step, and every stone.
Every flower, and every tree.
Even you and me.
First published in ‘Listening To…
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