At the door, two small people
watch summer end. That morning
for the first time the scratching
sound which would grow
to become the whole world.
Dinner last night was fine
apart from the fact I was there.

Somewhere else, the weather is exploding,
and it is going to explode.
Your body language says
you’d rather be grabbed
in the hallway by a man
wearing an astronaut’s helmet,
than accept a back-rub from me.

Today, I turn fifty;
you fly to China. At the exact
moment your plane hits
the runway in Shanghai,
a friend phones to say
he’s not dead, just isn’t
speaking to me, while
at the other end of the kitchen
the people in the radio debate
toxic sludge in local lakes.