lockdown walk from Bottisham

Lockdown walk from Bottisham (24/03/20)

Will we ever forget this spring?
The cowslips it brought to Bottisham?
The blackthorn blossom, at once, in a rush?

The times I have walked this path, unthinking,
but the men, running, mid-afternoon
untethered from the days that anchored them,
is new
and the wide wary berth we give each other —
rueful, watchful —
is new too.

Die we must, but none of us wants it,
for there’s a grassy field to my left, made to hare around in
and make us all daft with spring.

I could use this time,
I could learn the names of the birds that give weight to the sky.
But, here I am, head down,
noting these words on my phone.

It is not being alone that bothers me, my own
scant company. I think of family, friends
and the distance between us buckles and upends.

The sodden ground of those few weeks ago has hardened;
pressed into the earth, the giddy paths our lives once took.

I’d walk this path to Ely if allowed it
but two gates on, I stop.

The sun, much warmer.
The hum of a tractor
as spring is turned over
and ploughed back into the Fen.

cof

(24/03/20)

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