Under the flyover, the 21 deep locks,
a flight of graves. And then
the road, the yellow houses,
neither-nor-lands, scrub and stream.
The new estates with spider plants
and backyard trampolines and
thoroughfares that follow packhorse trails
into the dog-walk scraps of field
where ridge and furrow still lies
one span high and one stride wide,
wrinkling the land like a furrowed brow
trying to remember something.
We find that on the shortest days,
the longest days, the days most in-between,
the high street clogs with Druids.
The blue road down from Honeystreet
cleaves twilight into corrugated slopes.
The rooks spin up like ash into the winter.
The house is proofed with candle wax
and whiskey. Both of us trusting, working,
borrowing against the warmer days.
Jo Bell is a working poet and the former director of National Poetry Day in the UK. She is now the Canal Laureate for the UK appointed by the Poetry Society and Canal and River Trust. Read and hear more of her work at jobell.org.uk.