Crane Flies

There are still lots of crane flies or daddy-long-legs skittering around our house. I don’t mind them at all – they are like fragile butterflies. They live for such a short time. As it’s National Poetry Day today, here is a poem with an autumn feel. As I drove back from Salisbury with gold leaves swirling in front of the car (and impatient motorists behind!) I realised that summer is probably over. (But impatient motorists are around in every season).

Crane Flies

Sandbags by shop doors
smell of mildew, river.
Traffic whooshes by.

The evening sun glints
through horse-chestnut trees.
Their leaves like giant hands

are falling – we crackle
through them. Tomorrow
they’ll lie sodden.

In the bedroom insects skitter
up water-coloured walls
and you dart around

snatch at daddy-long-legs
trap them in your hands
careful not to break

thread legs and paper wings,
chuck them into the dark
for their last moments.

On the roof a conker cracks
like thunderbolt.
Push up the sash

close the curtains.
We’ll listen for the rain to start
thudding on the window pane.

Sarah Barr

Published in South poetry magazine issues 40 & 43
also on And Other Poems website.

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