The Basting

Summer bastes me like a free-range chicken

With her wine and oil, and her lemon juice,

She throws in herbs fresh from her chopping,

I turn from white to brown; she cooks my goose.

As I come to full flavour so does she

Her plump arms freckled in the evening sun,

Still working, growing, perhaps slowing, see

The end of her, her kitchen time is done.

She turns her heat down, though her sky’s still blue.

In these long dusks before the drop of night,

The hidden blackbird’s song rings clear and true

Against the soft, slow fading of the light.

Then in the chilling sky appears quite soon

The cool unblinking of the harvest moon.

From, ‘A Bench for Billie Holiday -70 sonnets’ [2018]

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