Empty Summer

I woke early all summer,
straight out of bed and into the kitchen
in the empty house.
Baked cookies and shortbread.
All kinds of baking laid out on trays.
Too early to call anyone.
I'd go out on my bike,
up to Swanshurst Park, or Trittiford,
with a book in my bag,
and a sketchpad and pencils,
and sit on a bench or the low branch of a tree,
and imagine countryside,
oblivious to the traffic going by.
Then back to the empty house.
Pick up the telephone, see if anyone's up.
Someone's up!
We arrange to meet at the Lido at one.
Back to the kitchen,
make salads and sandwiches,
pack cookies and biscuits and drinks.
The phone rings. Change of plan,
they're not going swimming today,
they're just going to lounge round the house.
Unpack the picnic, eat a sandwich,
try to read a book.
Walk up to Moseley in the afternoon.
Visit the health shop. Browse in Pottery and Pieces.
Walk home again down Anderton Park Road,
imagining the big house my parents almost bought,
and back to the empty house.
Try to read a book.
Wrap up the cakes and biscuits.
Play the piano. Put a record on.
Finally draw the curtains on the day.