The Messengers

The sun was trying to get into the house
blue at the windows
blue at the open door

cool flagstones on bare feet
as I worked up a sweat on the bread dough
the open mouth of the oven

as I slipped the loaves inside
the cat asleep on the Aga lid
the kind of quiet

a busy house rarely delivers
the sun trying to push its way inside
birdsong coming through the open window

the table sticky with other people’s crumbs
Woman’s Hour chatting away in the corner
the bread forming its crust in the oven

blue at all the windows
a deeper blue in the open doorway
two pairs of feet in black shoes

two pairs of legs in black trousers
blocking out the light
the sun shining on regardless

two uniforms with silver buttons
blue at the windows
the bird song barging its way inside

Woman’s Hour almost over
the bread turning black in the oven
the sun reaching in through the open door

First published in Whiragust IV (Yaffle 2023)