Jean Bleakney


After the storm, when the sky to the east was still black,

but the wind had eased and the evening sun clung to the raindrops

that had appeared like incipient buds on the still-bare branches

(fuchsia and birch); droplets that quivered, not nervously, but

showily working their way through the visible spectrum

like fairy lights, or stars rather (tinctures as opposed to colours;

hints of rose quartz or the palest sapphire) but unlike stars, labile;

a one-off performance put on for me, or so it seemed (perspective

being everything in refraction) though for as long as I watched

—as long as gravity and capillary action and evaporation

were kept in abeyance and the sun slid lower and I willed gold

and it came—it was almost as if you were standing there.