The first few we must have missed:
their dull thuds in the night a cat's
svelte landing from the water-butt.
Then a bathroom opposite, starkly lit,
picked out a sparkling trajectory,
and again, until one hardly clinked
against another in the spick grass
(we were out on our verandah,
the summer before last, desultorily
sieving old lore in the dark).
One more chink in the gloom and I
stole forth to retrieve a shooting star:
Cointreau, 5cc – on my way back
stubbed a bare toe on an Old Parr...
The mumbling above our heads
would cease as we listened for it,
(they'd rumbled our game) but we
caught just enough of their colloquy
to frame girl and boy on a balcony,
voyaging, in our imagining,
their galaxy of liqueurs.
An hour or more they'll have wound on,
low murmurs interspersed
with soft sounds from the garden,
the occasional ping of glass on glass,
and at last
A pause, then we too went indoors
and slept late.
-------------------When we rose those
young drunkards were well under,
or long gone, and a thin sun
illumined our kempt lawn,
iridescent with miniatures.
from The Sadness of Animals (Canterbury: San Marco Press, 2012).