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it’s a sodden cigarette butt in the gutter day

though the primary coloured fun fair

tries hard to paint the park into summer.


its tabarded guards wear welcome grins

of grim determined cheer,

as they usher you in.


the striped medieval marquees

glisten with runoff raindrops.

wet grass clippings coat your shoes

like breadcrumbs on fish to be fried.


ice cream vans pipe out hope,

in short staccato bursts,

entice you into t-shirts and shorts,

selling optimism by the cone.


a girl with a peach bow in her hair,

tresses that swing down to her waist,

could have skipped straight out of the past,

a once upon a time world of happy ever after.


as the rides turn to music in the air,

they deal a hand of sunshine

to call the clouds’ bluff,

and we all revolve in glee, complicit.


but the sullen sky frowns down

its light disapproval of rain,

peeling back the wallpaper of august

to reveal, hidden beneath,

the stark surface of winter,

in all its mottled shades of cold.


Picture from Lark in the Park, Sidcup.