The air turns November grey, cold
with a bright sun, cutting, unrelenting
in its exposure of each flaw,
showing each dead thing in harsh relief,
reminding you of the work done
and the work yet to do
as you prepare
for the season to come.
you despised this season
where nothing was hidden
but you are older now, less threatened by obvious flaws
and more afraid of the rot you do not see.
hard work perhaps, and lonely too,
chipping at the weather-worn paint
and one by one repairing the loose boards,
when you would rather be sitting by the fire
with a false confidence that you would make it through
the winter, until, as it must,
things fall apart.
No, you have lived that failure.
You have seen your walls fall to the foundations
after years of neglect and lies.
Better, you tell yourself, your collar drawn high against your neck
to slave in the half bitter wind
than to die
About this poem
Never, ever, take the important things for granted.