It is having book, food and nature, climbing up
the old quarry to sit among the carved-out blocks
on the hill with my picnic of budget quiche
and dry homemade lemon cake,
and it is nights at the street food market
in the carpark, refusing to go indoors in favour
of huddling by the firepit, getting to my feet
from time to time to trip the floodlight
so I can keep reading,
and it is standing by the wooden platform
jutting into the marina, twilight, geese honking,
smoke curling from canal boats, tearing into
a salty tomato focaccia, by the water, thinking,
this will be a Night, one that studs
my memories like a pearl.
It is curling in my pyjamas in the corner
of the falling-apart sofa, covered in blankets,
the garden tropical with birds, the cat writhing
on the floor as Mam waves her colourful mice,
and the tree is heavy with foiled chocolates
the reindeer brought in the night,
like he has for all my life or maybe before,
if my parents gave themselves chocolate,
it is that life went on before me,
and will – I pray – go on after.
The world will flicker out, I know that.
But not yet. Give us a bit longer
to all be together