The Road West

The road here slants west,

carving to the hill,

past the tender tumble down homes,

past the crouching thatched cottage

in its frozen secret place;

beyond the flinty corner whose face bends the wind.

It is a place of endless shadow, prickled frost.

Time has put an edge on this land – hardened it

and let it spread and spread until it beggars the eye.

Few pass this way: the lizard, wary eye circling,

the trudging trudging sheep, the woman

who looked at the sweeping blue sky and who

turned and turned until her mind shut down

and little cries caught in her throat.

Then the birds rose and called and flew west,

past the point where the road bled into the dun earth


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