First published in April 2024

It's the blackbirds' fault - again!
They sit there, all bursting lungs
and exuberance, drilling holes in
the early evening air - a ruse
to emphasise loneliness.

To be exact, it's the whole spring
thing that brings it back, bluebells
fingering the grass, an anodised sea,
clematis making pale pink thumb-
prints on the fence.

The sheer over-the-topness of
exploding colour, the cockiness
of every male bird in the region
and impatient prepubescent leaves
must share the blame.

They conspire to conjure up
the last slow days of your life,
nothing but Iraq on the telly, your
breathlessness, the acid-yellow
unrelenting sunshine.

I write my poems, drink my wine
and try not to cry, but anger eats
me from the outside in as another
guiltless April unwinds its beauty to
an unappreciative audience.