Rain on a summer evening, not yet dark.
The storm longed for all day has trundled off
to startle some implausible quiet place,
ploughed fields and outbuildings, a shingle beach.
Rain cataracts through foliage, jumps back up
from a flat black roof,
plays downpipes, hoppers, gutters, as if they were
Benjamin Franklin’s glass armonica,
liberty as melodious as love.
A woman opens a window, stands aside.
The man she loved for years, years later left,
won’t now come back;
she watched his coffin carried in the heat
into the grey stone chapel. No bound flowers,
a few embarrassed speeches, and quite late
that song he once liked.
His son will spread his ashes on the river.
This rain upstream in Marlow or Oxfordshire
reaching Barnes Bridge will swirl and sail him out.