february

by uzwi

The light has a warmer quality, which has brought out the biscuit colours of the gable ends along Grove Road. For days the street has been full of children on bicycles taking their proficiency test. Tucked into yellow safety wear & pink helmets, they cycle back & forth with attentive expressions & a careful lack of elan. Points are awarded for the proper use of the hand signal, but this morning I can’t seem to get worked up about that. Down towards the river the street trees are shocking green again, glowing & roaring as they suck in the sunlight to re-emit it at outlandish, artificial-looking wavelengths. You would not eat that colour if it came as a fast food, although it might win you over if they baked it on to the fat alloy tubes of a new bike. Or you might just be curious enough to Google for it with some heartbreaking search string like “high speed jets of matter”. Whatever it is, nature has no right to it except at the extreme end of things where stuff only just hangs together. & this is on a tree, in a street near you! It comes in a bad colour, but it’s life. There’s no life at all on my balcony, only induviae: pots of rotten brown sticks folded over & streaked with black; the strange, silvery, papery transparencies of the remains of flowers. I go out & think about pulling some of this stuff up, but end up staring into the street at the lines of cyclists. When they spot the kiddies in their yellow safety wear, even the white van drivers slow down. Curious, amiable, collapsed expressions come on their faces, as if they are trying to remember how to be human.