leaving the road

to cross the hedgerow at the stile

into an avenue of oaks framing

the mansion house imposed upon the hill

a vista Lutyens would devise

long summer grasses in Herefordshire


heading across

to find the shaded muddy track

back to the fieldstone farmhouse

surrounded by dry stone walls

in need of repair

smells rank and rancid from the pigsty

greeted by the hunchback

family retainer from a bleak last century past

and the gift of one warm egg

still crusted and slightly repellent to the child




another stile I need help to cross

into the blackberry wasteland

my young parents on their Sunday walk

gloved against the cold

milky sky closed over winter in Glamorgan


there is the stile where it should be

now backing onto the scar

of the motorway

not as I remember it at all

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