Short non-fiction

A Soft Day

I had been alone in the house all day. My productivity in that rare silence was the kind you dream about and rarely achieve. My ringtone splintered through the room with birdsong, and I answered, reluctantly, to laughter and the sound of the sea.

I had been scouting out poetry hashtags on Twitter (as you do!) …. and then my mother and her friend ______ were on the phone bemoaning the fact that _______ had a poem stuck in her head and didn’t know what it was called or who it was by. Had we been speaking?

________ recited some lines, joyfully, to me, the wind rushing through my mother’s laughter in the background.

________ confided to me that today was a great day to be alive.

The internet spat up the poem at me, and the poem is by Winifred M. Letts. None of us had any idea as to why _________ knew it, but we all knew that this was the right time for the lines to reverb in her head; the right time for her to proclaim them to me; the right time for us all to realise that yes, today is a good day to be alive.

A soft day, thank God!
A wind from the south
With a honeyed mouth;
A scent of drenching leaves,
Briar and beech and lime,
White elder-flower and thyme
And the soaking grass smells sweet,
Crushed by my two bare feet,
While the rain drips,
Drips, drips, drips from the eaves.

A soft day, thank God!
The hills wear a shroud
Of silver cloud;
The web the spider weaves
Is a glittering net;
The woodland path is wet,
And the soaking earth smells sweet
Under my two bare feet,
And the rain drips,
Drips, drips, drips from the leaves.

— Winifred M. Letts

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