Although there was nothing to stop us,
We hadn’t wanted to go out that morning
Into the angry September,
So briefly sun-pacified.
We didn’t believe in the sunshine,
In its improbable message:
That the village and the outlying country
Were to be spared a second deluge.
So we made hot chocolate and waited,
Letting the day make its case,
Stayed unbending for hours, window-watchers,
Observing the stillness take place.
At last we were proved right, superbly:
The rain wasn’t rain, but an ocean
Held at an unnatural angle,
So that it seemed to be falling, while
The fools who hadn’t attended
To the Englishness of the weather
Ran past our window – blown figures
Beyond an absolute glass.
You said, “Perhaps we should help them,
Offer one or two of them shelter”,
And before I said, “No. Let them have it”,
My mind settled, magpie-delighted,
On the hen-pen at the end of the garden:
Their needlepoint eyes, rust-encrusted,
And precise, impeccable toes,
Their expression of blind delectation
As they settled their beaks to the earth.