Caught by the River

Toadstools, New Year

1st January 2021

A poem by Alison Brackenbury, and a Victorian postcard, to herald 2021.

By Cranham’s road, where ceaseless traffic flows,
they perched, on awkward toes,
beside bleached hogweed, mud.

The lowest fought. Their orange lords leapt free.
White ribs, fanned to a tree,
matched palest clouds. Paths led

our stony scramble to a wind-shocked height.
There Gloucester rose to light,
each tower wore mist’s slow hood.

By ferns, persistent streams, I thought of them,
gold, amber, apricot on one small stem.
They burned the brightest thing in all the wood.