by Christine De Luca

When a day is too short to forge
a history, a shared archive,
she stumbles on boxfuls, unrecorded

When time concertinas
plays its bittersweet melody
she hymns its demeanour

When a river crosses her way
hesitates at the ford
her longing is unsayable

When a boundary offers only boulders
no intricate infill
she is edgy, merely cajoled

When blossom fades on the bramble
but the fruit is yet to set
her blood is clamorous

When meadows are buttercupped
and ditches swathed in bog cotton
her gloom gets a comeuppance

When waymarkers are blurred
and the path untrodden
she is of the plants, burgeoning

When ghost trees shimmer in twilight
and bats perturb the shadows
she is content, reconciled.