The Fringe

For days, weeks, Iโ€™d longed quite hard
for silence, as the weighted ache of noise
loured. Then, Sunday morning, three oโ€™clock,
humid morning-night, the window open,
there came a silence fringed with scents
(our lane half-in, half-out of town, so
garden smells, cut grass, blackcurrant).
Then the sounds. That morning-night,
pubs closed, air warm, I heard those two,
male voices, cordial, charmed. Their drinking done,
they talked. Exact words blurred, so
nothing floated through, just the fringe,
drifting good-natured sound, an emblem of
timeโ€™s kind brotherhood.



Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet who was shortlisted in Britain in 2017 for the Wordsworth Trust Prize and nominated in 2020 for the USAโ€™s Pushcart Prize.