An odd way this to begin
to get on again with life:
climbing onto the roof this morning
to scrape and re-paint the chimney,

and then to find the tiles have become
a fertile roof garden:
like drifts of strange flowers
the orange and silver lichens,

and on the shaded side,
like well-trimmed box
the perfect domes
of acrocarpous moss.

Up there I tread warily
not to fall,
or crack the tiles,
or spill the paint.

Yet, with the job done,
I hold on a while
to take in that garden
hidden underneath the sky,

one of those
out of the ordinary
things in the day
I would have shared with you,

and I hesitate to come down
from the roof
under my feet
to the rooms below,

as I cling a while longer
to the sense
of a reversal, almost,
in the natural order of things.

– First published in The Stinging Fly, Winter 2013-14