September, as I remember it from childhood,
Was the scrunching of beech leaves in the wood,
Among the skeleton bluebell stalks that stood
Bleached like sun-drenched, ancient bones, by filtered light.
From May to August under pale-green canopy
We played and sheltered from the summer rain, not quite
Aware that autumn always came again, its mood
As fickle as the friends we made at school. One year
The rain was endless and the streams began to flood,
Carrying tides of foam as if they ran with ale.
And in Assembly in the vast and woody hall,
We learnt 'To be a Pilgrim' and I understood,
Somehow with new appreciation, the idea
Of fitted words and music, all bound up as one
Convenient package, to take out and get undone
At will, beside the scummy stream and in the mud.