Tonight summer comes to a world remade.
Streets are carless. Silence treads the roads.
The sky is clear for a red kite sailing,
flamboyant, his flame ablaze on blue,
his wings and the fork of his tail
flexing on the wind.
Miles above in the high air over the fields,
over the flights of rooks, crows, gulls,
over the cities, the clouds, the atmosphere,
in the vault of heaven the ozone layer clears
of particulates, of nitrogen dioxide,
and we can breathe again.
Listen! in this clean new silence
that is not silent: birdsong,
a small wind in the trees,
the fall of a petal, an opening leaf,
a page turning,
your breath, mine.
Blaen Cwrt, Ceredigion: 28 March 2020
Britain's Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and Manchester Metropolitan University/Manchester Writing School are bringing together poets from around the world to chronicle the COVID-19 pandemic in the WRITE Where We Are NOW project.