Remembering that late summer-day by Julie Sampson

today's poem vertical

Remembering that late summer-day

she recalled
she went – on the day it happened,
like you do at a certain age –
looking for your old
roots, you know, life’s major turning-points,
tracking round the bends along the road from the ridge,
past the place of the den in the hazel hedge,
past West Villies, the field where they read comics in the hen-coop,
then passed the meadow where once they almost caught the linhay on fire.

That day, but for the birds, alone in the world
she’s happily fluting the grass-stem.

Finding the gate
shut against Long Close,
the field next to Whitemoor, its
lower hedge running beside Rook-Wood
side edge parallel to Ashridge lane,
a long thorn juts out,
then barley comes to mind –
she’d forgotten –
these were the glowing days just after
summer’s field of gold-
stubble pricking your legs,
sunblinding eyes.

She tracks beside the hedge verge,
it’s amok with trefoil, golden-rod.
You’re a tomboy – do ‘ee like butter, he says.

Looking back
she’d forgotten she still knew what she’d thought she did not –
wishes she could see
and be in the moment before that turn in time,
could recalibrate an urging sun.


Julie Sampson’s poetry is widely published, most recently, or forthcoming, in Shearsman, Molly Bloom, Allegro, Dawntreader, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Journal, Noon, Poetry Space, Peeking-Cat, The Lake, Amethyst Review and Algebra of Owls. Her poetry collection Tessitura was published in 2014 (Shearsman). See https://www.juliesampson.com/

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