Stoneyford Bridge

The long grass in Summer
Bends to the sigh of the wind
Only so far for a polite kiss
Daintily hiding the traces
Of seasons’ past.
Heads of feral wheat, far from home
Are bold now, fine-whiskered
Heads up like prairie dogs
Alert to danger;
Yet through it winds a path
Down to Stoneyford bridge
Just the trace of wandered boots
Like wisps of gasping breath
Captured on a frosty morning
Or the ripple marks as the tide flows.
Stoneyford bridge;
Two planks wide, nothing more;
Knurled knots standing proud
Lateral lines of yearly growth
Polished to a gloss
By Hunter Boots and walking shoes
Toweling trousers of kneeling kids
Yelping with delight
At the white-water chaos
Of Pooh-sticks below.
And beyond, the path whispers up
A rounded hill, encircled with barbs
Round like an iron age fort
Or the tree-shod bloodied slopes
Of some desperate bayonet stand;
But no fighting here:
Just the contours and trees
The echo of children playing
The lowing of a far-off cow
And the sigh of the path back
To Stoneyford bridge

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