'The Borrowers' (Poetry Monthly)
Thu, 22 Oct 2015
An expedition, all the way to the top –
me, and my two year old; a picnic
by a covey of chattering pines...
Planted an oak, to stake our claim,
the day we moved in; the hill – ours,
hers and mine, plus a hundred acres of sky.
Dwarfed – our cottage, way below,
in the peach-tree dappled shade,
of a long-since tended orchard.
Bees – strum-hum in the clover,
and a skylark sings the many faces
of god and she sees dragons in the clouds.
‘Look!’ I say. ‘There’s a ‘Meadow Brown’ –
a ‘Painted Lady’, but now –far too busy,
playing with her toys.
Tea-time – the wind is chill, so pick up
her bat and ball – her teddy; a book
I brought to read. Fat chance of that!
‘Couldn’t we stay?’ she whines, as I lift her
to my hip. Grubby hands reach out –
reluctant to leave...
grabs a tuft of budding vetch; purple
and white. Gleefully, she brings it home –
as tiny flowers, shyly open
but the butterflies, the sun, the smell
of fresh-shorn grass, too much for us
to carry, and indeed, not ours to take.
Only on loan...the hill – the whole
of this. The best I can do, is to promise
we’ll come again...maybe tomorrow,
but then...only if we give back,
what we borrow.