It’s the way this hill has somehow
heaved its shoulders high enough
to catch the sun.
It’s the brown of warm eggs
in the nest box, the protests
when you lift a ruffling hen.
You might say it’s the sheep running,
bucking down the wintered slope; the way
their hoofs carve little curls of mud.
Surely it’s the sweet stink of green buds
bulging on the blackcurrant. Or the way catkins
blow and ripple, like clean washing.
And didn’t you stand outside
in your socks after dinner,
on the cast-iron doormat, listening
to the oystercatchers pairing,
whistle and circle,
in the March dark?
First published in Pushing Out The Boat 2011
Jean Atkin | firstname.lastname@example.org