Beans And Birthdays
All day the wind blows. Even in the lea of the house the broad beans are laid flat; sheltered stems twisted and snapped. Some are salvageable, the rest: compost or dinner. At night we see the moon too is cleft, and one half lingers in a pale sky.
Hailstones were forecast. They must have melted in the unforeseen heat. Everyone sits in the shade of the tent, where pompoms sway and birthday balloons drift like lazy animals. The children herd them up. On the table is a summer rainbow of fruit, a princess castle made of cake. Steaming hot children pile down the new slide, snacks in hand and laughing. Bubbles stream, some big enough to trap grown men.
Baby Girl, one whole year old, claps her hands.
'Remember at the wedding,' we say, 'she was a bump!'
Little Grandson speaks to the girls, he says 'Well: my friend: my friend is nine.'
He leaves them to absorb this momentous social advantage: he has a cardboard box to climb in.
Sun was forecast, not rain, but a fine mix of children play out anyway and the sun turns up, a bit late, that's all. Doors to the summerhouse are wide open. June is stuffed with birthdays and so are we, lying on sofas in drafts of warm savoury air, listening to the ebb and flow, the yes and no, the boss and haggle.
Homewards, we are still chuckling. 'We should get a swing ball kit,' we say, 'how hilarious.'
The moon in a pink sky, fattened to just past half, shining.
Boy wakes up. It's low key because of exams. He opens a few cards. Happy Eighteenth, they say.