Melodeons on the M6
Suddenly all of England opened up,
opened out. Everything for miles
was hills, fields, walls,
crafted by furrowed skin
lined with sun and soil.
I’d almost forgotten about dancing.
It was more than I remembered,
even the endings, even with the fading
swings and slides, the first snow
never seemed pristine, turned to grit
before we pressed it close, cold-toed.
Motorway driving a holiday in itself.
The way the fields spread out
like beds to roll in, while turbines
caught the drifting. Just out of sight
the shore was stretched with memory,
the old trees leaned, humbled,
humming in the afternoon light.
Beginnings of seasons bring as many
endings as we can bear, you said,
and I thought it sounded wise,
until I saw it was just a careful way
to say goodbye.
But the staggering wide world, the fells,
cloud veils, ghylls and dales. The songs
of before carrying me down the road,
with all of it starting, birthed in streams.
My heart, so trampled, strides out now
across the rolling worlds where nothing
is as finished as once it might have seemed.