Martin Robertson

Now and Then


How does it come that here

I have hardly seen a swallow this year

but today on the high wire

I count twelve in a row?

circling, twittering, sitting again there,

gathering themselves to go.

More in keeping perhaps to see them so

than earlier,

more in keeping with how I am and feel.

Autumn is near.

Autumn is beautiful.

All seasons are beautiful, but now

I find the year’s wheel

move faster—more than sixty turns

completed, am more aware

what a small number we’re entitled to,

what a small proportion of those remains

for me.  Never mind.

A full, a whole time,

a time shared.

Wish the gathered swallows joy of their far journey

and ourselves prepare

for winter coming, as they

do, but in our own, our different way.