milky way

rain starts to fall
a young woman opens
her umbrella over me
and leads me under
the shelter of a fir tree

two strong lads
running by, say
they are joining
the royal marines
'to fight England's foes'

a drunken man
in suit and tie
coming from a funeral
weeps, telling me of all those
he has lost this year

a small blond boy
in uniform says
'it's Lion Cubs now
not wolves' and explains
all his badges

the blackbirds sing
on every tree and rooftop
my head
is full of stories
and wings and songs

Joy McCall, England