The handstand she does
On the roundabout, not quite inert,
four children lie and quietly bicker.
Their heads and hands jut out
to see, to make, a tiny world turn.
A woman of twenty-five, her head shaved,
cuts through the park. Upon sight of the children
her jaw tightens; she treads then
as lightly as her boots will allow.
A girl among the group, though, has heard.
She sits up. The Army Surplus clothing
is no camouflage. As their eyes meet
the girl begins to slap her own head.
For an instant, she so much wants
the woman to be hurt; but the woman,
who has left Glastonbury two years running
without having spoken to a single soul –
whose sympathies are shifting –
sees the girl’s upturned lips and reciprocates.
Though the younger mouth is static,
neurons a few inches away are not:
they are gathered, to form a constellation
she’ll navigate the rest of her life by.