I recognise the date – Becki Hawkes

I recognise the date

and I recognise that today is a bruised sky blue
and purple day: everything readying itself, steadying  
itself, tasting the turn in the air. Squirrels attack me
on my lunchbreak: scale my legs and dive head first
into my Pret paper bag and I cannot even pretend
to be annoyed: they are so unapologetically sure
that I am here to sustain them, so gleefully confident
they won’t be harmed. I recognise the date and I want
to say that the weather, the sky, the wildlife; that they
were all exactly like this – except of course I don’t
remember the weather. I don’t even remember the time
of day. All I know is that they told me it had happened
and that for hours and hours I pretended that it hadn’t:
assumed there must have been some ludicrous, laughable
mistake. My brain is so good at saying oh, no thank you,
not today: it makes everything slippery and lilting
and diluted. Even now I can stand in bubbling light and mud
and rose green amber splendour, five, no six, no seven
years on, covered in fearless squirrels, a nudging ocean
of pigeons at my feet, and wonder what you might be
up to this weekend: decide I should check in, give you a call,
tell you about these squirrels.

Becki Hawkes lives in London, loves being outside and butterflies, and has poems published in Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Shore, Rust + Moth, Brittle Star and Perhappened, among others. Her first pamphlet is published next year by Survision Books. Her Twitter is @BeckiH_678.

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