After Dinner

Peter Riley

Leaving the George Inn to walk down
the small road to Milldale
it is so quiet as the light diminishes
pale things begin to glow on the ground.

Each tree makes a slight whispering
bat flitting over my head, gnat
attempts to enter nostril – solitary,
you are free to let your emotions expand.

Light peels off the downy slopes
green to silver. Someone has chalked
dad hurry up on the steepest
part of the road, and so this grand

Sense expands towards
people living in their structures
everywhere against each other
in a common fall

Turning at the day’s end
into the movement of the earth.
Entering sleep, knowing nothing,
the one moment free of harm.