Your focus is absolute.
Your sticky fingers cup each apricot, giving it a gentle turn
to find the blush of ripeness. You have not seen the thundercloud
that’s slumping overhead, grumbling with the weight of rain.
The bird calls halt into an urgent stillness. In that hush
the pears become pendulums, the flagpole a sundial,
and Time slides by between canal-banks.
I barely keep from leaping in to gather up the water to my body,
to pile it and hoard it, anything to hold on to your babyhood,
which has left you while I wasn’t looking, swiftly as the apricots
that ripen overnight.
Already my memory fails me.
I know that when I’m older it will wash away
and leave me clutching only silt and this:
a photograph of you at nearly four
running through an orchard in the rain.