ANN PILLING: Novelist and Poet

With George all puddles are approached
with reverent slowness and the feet applied
perfectly flat for biggest splash. It seems
a dirty gum-stuck pavement is preferred
to whorling Yorkshire slabs steam-cleaned to honey
by men in orange hats. With chewing gum
his shoes can measure their bionic powers
and he his own self may decide which blob's
America, and which the sea. In Bedford Gardens
a hot sky sizzles cobalt blue, roped thick
with creamest blossom, garlanding the street
like bunting. Small birds strafe the avenue
with twigs and pelt the ear with song. His small
egg-speckled nose lifts high, sniffing the air. This white
could be anything: snow, icing, last night's duvet
pulled over our heads to make a dragon's cave.
His hand in mine is flower-soft, he leads me
with shining face tip-tilted to the bright
enormous sky down paths I never knew
before this day, or thought I had forgotten.

(from Home Field)

Click here to view a photo of Ann with George