Shirtless for once, because the sun is switched off,

he steps outside. Something growls as if warning him away

but that’s all it is; no imminent attack.


There may, or may not, be a storm. Probably not,

he thinks, but the air’s hot, dense, a touch fanatical,

and its burgeoning fever needs to break soon.


Still high summer, but the trees believe it’s autumn,

sacrificial leaves falling to crisp brown drifts in the dust.

Their world sags, kneels for pardon, reprieve. Or the axe.


Endurance is the only virtue left. Where are those frogs

that bake themselves for years in Kalahari sand,

dreaming of that sacred kiss of rain, of resurrection


when all the sleeping beauties awaken? He is no prince

but knows it will happen, it must come. Just hold on.

Just hold on.