Siân Thomas: a poem



Harvest


They've baled the hay in the meadow on the hill.

On Wednesday I noticed a tractor

kicking up a cloud.


There's a pigeon pulling at the elder's infant berries.

A second ago it flowered.

Now they're burgundy.


And every morning my feet and ankles ache

as if I'd spent the previous day

climbing ladders.


I tire easily, bruise easily, lose friends easily these days.

Like an old tractor though

I chug on.


I could lean a ladder horizontally from my window.

I could lift an aching foot

climb across


to the meadow, where everything since spring is rolled

into bales. They used to be

rectangular.


We could sit on them. The round ones were exciting at first.

I hope I'm not a bad person –

friendships end –


but it isn't the things you expect to bite that really hurt

it's the ones that snap as quick

as time.


Once, I fell over while carrying a step-ladder, one rung

scythed my knee: a flap of skin opened, showed

bone beneath.


And August comes as quick as pulling hair out of my brush.

A tractor chugs along the lane.

I miss you.



Siân is poet in residence for Ashdown Forest and her work has appeared in publications including Agenda, Poetry Wales, Popshot, The Rialto, Tears in the Fence and Swamp, along with several anthologies. Her pamphlet Ovid’s Echo and collection Ashdown are both published by Paekakariki Press, and she teaches creative writing in Sussex and Kent.