A web waves in the warm breeze,
caught between ancient wooden struts,
indefensible, beneath an empty seat.
It splays to breaking point;
fine-knit, like a fibre-glass veil;
delicate strength resisting air.
Behind, purple bell-shaped blooms bow their heads in unison,
deferring to the weight
of a sprinkler’s misty jet,
that fans out in the shape of victory.
But it is not these shimmering droplets
that crystallise quietness;
nor the opaque haze,
as heat warps the scene into film;
it is not even the web, hanging on, precarious,
like angel-hair, suspended,
where even one breath might fracture the whole.
My quiet distils
to single drips
echoing inside a hollow barrel,
like an insistent broken tap
in a sleeping house at midnight,
incessantly filling night’s spaces
until dawn arrives again.
Virginia Betts 2020