Afternoons

Poetry month finished yesterday, but today is Friday when I post a poem anyway.

Afternoons  by Philip Larkin comes from The Whitsun Weddings,  published by Faber.

     Afternoons

 

Summer is fading:

The leaves fall in ones and twos

From trees bordering

The new recreation ground.

In the hollows of afternoons

Young mothers assemble

At swing and sandpit

Setting free their children.

 

Behind them, at intervals,

Stand husbands in skilled trades,

An estateful of washing,

And the albums, lettered

Our Wedding, lying

Near the television:

Before them, the wind

Is ruining their courting-places.

 

That are still courting-places

(But the lovers are all in school),

And their children, so intent on

Finding more unripe acorns,

Expect to be taken home.

Their beauty has thickened

Something is pushing them

To the side of their own lives.

 

     – Philip Larkin –

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