Summer is fading;
The leaves fall in ones and twos
From trees bordering the new recreation ground.
In the hollows of afternoons
Young mothers assemble
At swing and sandpit
Setting free their children.
Behind them, at intervals,
Stand husbands in skilled trades,
An estateful of washing,
And the albums, lettered
'Our Wedding', lying
Near the television:
Before them, the wind
Is ruining their courting-places
That are still courting-places
(But the lovers are all at school),
And their children, so intent on
Finding more unripe acorns,
Expect to be taken home.
Their beauty has thickened.
Something is pushing them
To the side of their own lives.
Phillip Larkin - Afternoons, from 'The Whitsum Weddings', 1964