The girl has red hair, sheet fine and flickable
and red shoes, Dorothy shoes,
with laces and legs that mean dancing
smooth and strong.
The boy has a football, not a soccer ball
one of those egg-shaped ones
that flip flop, like ducks’ tails side to side,
flip flop, never straight.
They’re together on the cobalt picnic rug
the sun just peach juicing it down
all over them; love in spring
rolled out on the tongue of a purple iris
She’s made blue muffins, decorated with jubilee moons
and smelling like jasmine, and they laugh straight up
like bubbles in a pool. Flip-top happiness, pop 'n' away.
Suddenly he’s up, ball and boots and easy calves
jogging and tapping and teeth like tic-tacs
slippery with peppermint; he taps that ball,
twenty metres exactly to her knee and she,
jubilee muffin moon smile, is up too, puts her little red toe on it
and neither are surprised by his accuracy
or her sheet of satin red hair or the cute waggle
of that bobby-sock ankle. Or the kiss.
I watch from forty-plus. Cynical and wizened,
like a prune in a plum tree. And I hear time pass
like gas escaped from a can (hiss) and I just want them
to know how beautiful they are this spring.
I want to yell it out the window
the mad Iris plum woman, flinging compliments
to the young gods.