High windows

When I see a couple of kids 
And guess he’s fucking her and she’s   
Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,   
I know this is paradise 

Everyone old has dreamed of all their lives—   
Bonds and gestures pushed to one side 
Like an outdated combine harvester, 
And everyone young going down the long slide 

To happiness, endlessly. I wonder if   
Anyone looked at me, forty years back,   
And thought, That’ll be the life; 
No God any more, or sweating in the dark

About hell and that, or having to hide   
What you think of the priest. He 
And his lot will all go down the long slide   
Like free bloody birds.
And immediately 

Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:   
The sun-comprehending glass, 
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows 
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.

Philip Larkin
, Collected Poems, Faber & Faber, 2003