Sue Whitmore

A Quick Spin Round the Sun

Winter sun
low down, lean and mean
and sharp as a butcher's knife
slicing the street into strobing black shadows
that make your eyes water,
getting up late and going to bed early -
no youth or mercy in its old heart.

Spring sun
unpredictable and adolescent,
stormy and hard or wet-eyed and uncertain -
all glances and short skirts
elbowing aside sombre colours and austerity
in favour of blaring
yellow flowers and bright pink lipstick -
laughing too loudly.

Summer sun
high, wide and covered in Ambre Solaire;
a Wife of Bath, she favours strong smells -
flowerbed perfumes, cut grass and ripe dustbins;
always baking - wheat, tarmac - it's the same to her
always partying, usually overdressed -
sometimes she hardly goes to bed at all;
when the curtains are drawn it's probably a hangover.

Autumn sun
unreliable as all decrepitude -
best of pleasures when it burns,
intimations of mortality when it doesn't;
it wheezes through the morning mist
and has to take it easy
couched in massing clouds
it goes to bed earlier and earlier. . .