Ridge and Furrow Retraced

Afar, a thin lichen blotched steeple
Knapsack brown
And badged with green
Like a lanky Boy Scout.
Ahead, a blackthorn hedge
Cleaved near the root 
By billhook and determination;
Muscled over, sloping branches,
Silhouetted like nature’s tally-marks.
Up close, the ridge and furrow:
Broad ridges, a yard across;
Furrows, a yard wide, and half that deep – 
Fixed in earth, these fossilised waves,
Collecting the winter sun,
Refracting light, vivid outlines.
They do not crash or break 
They billow only over a lifetime’s course 
There is no wash or rip 
Every seventh is the same not higher.
The pull of the moon does not mould
These ripples of turned and re-turned earth.  

The sound of the oxen still echoes here
And the Medieval plough casts ancient shadows.

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