So many places shut: the off-licence,
the butcher, the corner shop, even
the telephone kiosk screwed shut.
Dog had come a long way, and now what?
But the cherry blossom, he noted,
looking up, for once, from the pavement,
was particularly stunning this year;
maybe it was the same every year
but noticing it, his heart was lifted
and he decided not to be disappointed.
The journey had been arduous, the future
was uncertain, but there is more to life,
he reflected, cocking his leg against a letter box,
than a bowl of fruit on a table.
Cliff Yates has been publishing poetry since the 1980s. Collections include Henry’s Clock, winner of the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and the Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition, and, most recently, Jam (Smith|Doorstop, 2016).