A Breath of Fresh Air
The windows are open as wide as they can be, yet very little comes inside: a spider
swings down, ousted from her corner; a few seeds settle on the sill. It’s too far for the
wallflowers to waft their deep, sweet scent, or for the bay’s aroma to enter.
In the house, no-one leaves or enters. Air stirs and doors shut abruptly. You do not
move from the window, stand watching the empty road. A rare train sounds its horn
by the river before surging away, as if into a deep breath.
Breathing is becoming something you need to practise. In – up, up. Down and let go,
though no-one can let go yet. You imagine them, in other houses, all holding their
breath. As you lean out of the window, a hawfinch’s song is so high it hurts.