After the warm spells
Come rain and cold winds.
Skies are wet blankets
And March is miserable.
Like a young tortoise,
Without weather lore,
Caught sunning too soon,
I retreat quickly
Into the warm house.
The baby whinges
Wanting to go out,
He is not consoled
By crumpets for tea.
Judy knits quietly
Deep in the green chair.
The ball of wool shrinks
And she grows rounder.
When the second comes
It will be Summer.

March 1971

Hanging out the washing

I really do not understand
Why Mummy has to start each day
By hanging all the children’s clothes
Upon a line, high in the sun.

But all the same I love to watch
My nappies flapping in the wind,
With Helier’s shorts and Lucy’s tights.
All holding hands and blowing free.

From time to time throughout the day
My Mummy goes to feel the clothes,
And if it rains she rushes out
To bring them back into the house.

I trot beside her up the path
And watch the sun shine through the sheets,
It’s playing hide and seek with me
Behind the branches of the trees.

By teatime when the sun has moved
Around the house towards the West,
My Mummy goes to bring them in,
All full of summer air and sun.

For Beatrice, 18 months, who loves to hang out the washing with Judy. 8.3.78

Did you hear the rain?

Did you hear the rain last night
Tapping on the window pane,
Asking me to let him in,
Did you hear the rain?

Did you see the lightning flash
White against my bedroom door,
Asking me to let him in,
Did you hear him roar?

Did you hear the night owl cry
Over by the garden wall,
Asking me to let him in,
Did you hear him call?

Did you see the waning moon
Shine upon my bed of pine,
Asking me to let him in,
Did you see him shine?

Did you see the shooting star
Fall to earth across the night,
Asking me to let him in,
Did you see his flight?

No, I slept the whole night through,
Nothing heard and nothing saw,
Laughed and played on other shores,
Dreamt and nothing more.
July 1980