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This poem is taken from PN Review 37, Volume 10 Number 5, March - April 1984.

from Stepping Westward Anne Bond

1

The grey moist days of early December
when trees rest their arms in the earth-scented air.
Hardily the hedgerows run beside the fields,
and lands lie part-ploughed in the lush green stubbles.
Fit season it is to be stepping westward,
stepping into my childhood's red soil.

A man, breeched gun, dangling pheasants, grey-faced retrievers.
That's Harry Shattock coming down from the hill.
He tells me that after this autumn of undue rain
the cattle are short of fodder and the winter wheat
largely unsown. His tractor it was
be-mired and bogged down some acres back.

Skirting the brook, we follow an ancient boundary,
our boots growing earthy-giant treading an ancient track.
We speak laconically of the worsening world,
the iniquities of tax-men, poor prices at market,
...


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