Orchards, Greensand Way
We meet between converging lines:
branch, twig, leaf, the bulbous fruit,
knuckles of root in ribbled ground
hands that led the plough, that hauled
and dug and cropped, cup and twist,
and gone. Those days like leaves.
Flagged tracks wind in from lanes
conjuring the old ways, trundle and scrape
of wheels through ghosts of trees.
The sun is brighter now, a black macramé
of tubes irrigates the lines; tractors grind
through vineyards on the south slopes.
We spot fox trails, vertical earth below
skylit hedges; from the ridge, every shade
of green laid out across the Weald, sweeping
to the mauve horizon of a wide unhurried sky.
Windfalls scatter the path: Coxes and crabs,
in the hedges, late bramble, damson,
each bite of fruit surprising in its freshness,