After you’d replied we’d kissed and I’d got up,
Two birders in all the gear appeared with lenses
And in your bright hat we walked on
Along the walkway to the hides
Taking stock of our own shock
Your hand in mine. My hand in yours.
The quiet cold broke: planes
The Eurostar, M25.
Entering a hide, we found a family
But only ducks in the distance. No one spoke
And we left.
At the last stretch of bleached slats
We stood kidding then spotting; something red in
The blanched distance. Something in the grey branches
Winter had not killed. Red.
I saw, before I said, that it was a bloom of a balloon; in the shape
Of a heart. As if I’d planned it from the start. A novelty blown and abandoned,
Caught now up with us. With this.
I left the path and pulled it from its moorings and handed it to you;
A beautiful encounter with litter. Its helium gone, spattered with mud, still on a string, it fluttered in the wind.
Unreal, we carried it, wondering at its history
And our own. Not wanting to throw it, we entered the
Cafeteria and I walked to the bin by the cake stand
And consciously stuffed it in.
Sitting down grinning, we ordered tea and cake, drank and ate
And left it there to go its way.
It was fitting to me; what our love is; unexpected and free.