Time and Motion

I cut grass with shears.
It is absurd
but the lawn stays green and the Painted Lady
floats over, straight from Africa.

I sweep floors by hand.
The machine would whine
through the radio’s lilt, or the sleepers wake.
For it is so late

That when I stoop
to my proper work,
the book, the page, sleep blacks me out.
When I wake it is not
to the breath of grass,
to the dust’s slow slack,
but to a word,
as though the poem,
like a frightened child,
put out a hand, and pulled me back.

Alison Brackenbury

If you've any comments on this poem, Alison Brackenbury would be pleased to hear from you.