Recreating the High Street

by Jackie Biggs, UK.

Maybe the world, without us,
is the real poem.
(From ‘The Leaf and the Cloud’, Mary Oliver).

On the first day after the humans have gone,
a bramble pokes through a crack in paving
in an abandoned shopping centre,
wanders over erupting tarmac,
infiltrates brickwork by a deserted supermarket car park.

On the second day
a shoot tip-roots in dust by a derelict gasworks,
throws new canes in every direction,
tangles with others, arching high,
forms a thicket of prickled green.

On the third day
flowers spring out like roses.
Delicate creamy petals
crowned with pink stamens 
reign all over wasteland acres.

On the fourth day
yellow brimstones and speckled woods arrive
to suckle on rich nectar.
Industrious bees and bumbles get busy
and boisterous blackbirds build nests.

On the fifth day
deer gather to graze on fresh leaves,
rich fruits form, turn glossy dark
and thrushes fly in on song to feed.
At dawn and dusk fox and badger forage on the briars.

On the sixth day
flies gather for a feast on forgotten fruit,
caterpillars curl in cooling leaves,
grass snakes slip into silent nooks,
dormice seek refuge and hedgehogs find havens.

On the seventh day
soft rain falls and the earth is revived.
And the sun shines
and all settles quiet in the bramble dome.
And all the creatures know that it is good.

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