In an Orchard
Shall we drink a while and think of Eden, As in an orchard filled with waspy windfalls Children shout and run? Late summer sun Is angled close to term time, and the walls’ Strong yellow means the days are not so long. Something will go wrong, Slow as rot in tennis huts or sudden As the crush of apple under foot, while fun Itself turns ciderous to taste; The orchard’s children are misplaced, Toys left out overnight And ruined by the morning. But where is God (that crisp, rich gentleman Who lifted us to blossom in our time)? He is sternfaced and appalled, For we have called Him names too often, and the crime Of barefaced scrumping’s written on our looks And in our picture books, While in the grasses there are beasts we can No longer understand now the walled Orchard with its tennis court, The gracious house we might have bought If we had got things right, Rings to our last warning.