Autumn of Summer

I’m walking to the station through the needling mist.

The grass on the cricket ground is grey with dew just frozen,

and I turn down the hill, under an arcade of

chestnut trees, where my mother brought us to collect conkers;

kings of colour, soft greens to hard,

flowers of white and purple,

and yellow to brown –

and then the long scuff,

kicking them up in clouds as marbles scuttle to the gutter.

But today is grey and their spiny silhouettes stand naked.

A lady passes me, and then a young man.

They are hurrying for the fast;

I am going for the slow.