Caught by the River

The Ridgeway

Will Burns | 7th November 2013

Ahead of reading at next week’s Caught by the River Social Club here’s a new poem from our poet-in-residence, Will Burns.

A fence like tiny tinder sticks
plugged into the earth
and girdled with barbed wire
surrounds a mother’s house

up on the hill. Across the road the belt
of Forestry Commission land
rolls and rises away with
the contours of the high ground.

But it is no ancient wood,
that other side of the Ridgeway,
where any spider mites and sawflies
are routinely wiped out.

It could be the dogs announce
your visit. It could be her birds.
However it happens, she knows
and opens red wine, puts out a bowl.

Outside in the fields the second
hay crop cut and turned again, a fading day,
dirt that might have been yours to own,
your inheritance held in seed.