After the Fall of a Pear Tree Overladen with Fruit
The birds that used to gather and sing in our pear tree
kept coming back that summer after its fall.
I used to watch them from my window
swooping down into the back garden,
little stroboscopic streaks of colour
that would stop and hover confusedly
when they found only empty space
in the pear tree’s place, before darting off
in search of somewhere else
to rest their fiery wings.
How would that feel? I wondered.
To come home one day and find nothing.
No passage in which to slip off your shoes,
no kettle waiting to be filled,
no staircase to take three at a time,
no records waiting to be played,
or treasure chest of comics in the secret cave
under your bed. No bed even.
Just a sudden absence in a row of houses
where your own once stood.
Whose door would you knock on first?