I never grew up with rainbows, and could never count in colour. I couldn’t read light, the city blurred the borders between hills. Hidden flocks, painting brushstrokes into trees, turned me towards a blessing, a freshly baked promise, hanging from branches.
Stumbling into a congregation of pine trees and water, I watched everything I knew about music stop. A babbling brook, wedged into a gasp, draped its body over pebbles. The neighbourhood around it purred in immutable chorus. Red-breasted poets sang, petals whispered, stinging nettles spoke out of turn. I, all vowel-mouthed and awkward, slurred, trying to teach myself the consonants of forest.
Looking for the laughter lines on trees, I tried to understand its comedy. Did we, I, me, know my England well enough? A curriculum for survival without maps lacked birds and views. The few who knew about them spoke in secret, bird-less feathers knotted in the wild.
I witnessed the other side of the fence by accident, by accident I found paradise as swollen as Eden. I’d gamble the city for birdsong, all the money in the world couldn’t tame this orchestra. By way of lost footing, I found what I was missing, only a stone’s throw from my brick castle. Fierce acres that swaddle sirens and dims them down to static. Eden taught me how to breathe again.