In Berkshire somewhere 1970
I hid in a laurel bush outside a house,
Planted in gravel I think.
I stopped running and just pushed open
Its oilskin flaps and settled down
In some kind of waiting room, whose scarred boughs
Had clearly been leaning and kneeling there
For a long time. They were bright black.
I remember this Museum of Twilight
Was low-ceilinged and hear-through
As through a bedroom window
One hears the zone of someone’s afternoon
Being shouted and shouted in, but by now
I was too evergreen to answer, watching
The woodlice at work in hard hats
Taking their trolleys up and down.
Through longer and longer interims
A dead leaf fell, rigidly yellow and slow.
So by degrees I became invisible
In that spotted sick-room light
And nobody found me there.
The hour has not yet ended in which
Under a cloth of Laurel
I sat quite still.