Twenty-nine degrees


Twenty-nine degrees and the air is quite
still and if my garden wildflowers could
speak there might well be several hundred
rasping cries of ‘water!’ – and there will be

later – water for the wildflowers and
the valiant lawn and for me as my mind
ponders how long it might take for the air
and the garden and for me to get used

to the huge difference a few degrees
of increased temperature can make to
the shape, texture and musculature of
daily life – and how heroic today’s

white-van drivers are, and the sentry on
guard at Buckingham Palace who could do
with an air-conditioning unit in
his heavy bearskin, and the young mothers

who must attend to all the wants of their
slippery, salty and flustered infants
whether it is hot or cold. Of course there
will be cooler days before we’ve mulled much

more – this is England! – but we are starting
to notice that a few degrees bring
about major changes and I wonder
what we’ll do about altering our course?

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