The government paid a lady in London
to pick the leaves one by one
from the lime trees in Parliament Square.
Did she use fingers or secateurs?
we wondered aloud. You got in the car.
The sky darkened to vinegar.
Where you were, the weather rolled
out its cloud quadrant absentmindedly,
like a screensaver, the air tense and full,
as if an elastic band held the horizon
edges at odds and yet as one.
Think of all the things I thought
but never said aloud; toughening
on my tongue like thick, pink shoots.