Philip Larkin


Summer is fading: The leaves fall in ones and twos From trees bordering The new recreation ground. In the hollows of afternoons Young mothers assemble At swing and sandpit Setting free their children. Behind them, at intervals, Stand husbands in skilled trades, An estateful of washing, And the albums, lettered Our Wedding, lying Near the television: Before them, the wind Is ruining their courting-places That are still courting-places (But the lovers are all in school), And their children, so intent on Finding more unripe acorns, Expect to be taken home. Their beauty has thickened. Something is pushing them To the side of their own lives.

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