Thursday, July 09, 2020

A poem from Lucy Furlong's The Sward

As well as her guest post Around Tolworth in the footsteps of Richard Jefferies Lucy Furlong sent me one of the poems from her chapbook Sward.

The poem's narrow column echoes the long thin strip of central reservation.

Skin of the Earth

Humans don’t walk here. I see
drivers stare at me through
windshields and wound down
windows as they pass by. One
day a woman and a girl stop to
look at me as I kneel to take a
photo of red clover. They double
take as I double take. A horse
and trap careers across the dual
carriageway at the Jubilee Way
junction – a time warp - a bright
sunny day. I am teetering at the
end of one part of the sward,
waiting to cross – a bride and
groom, resplendently fancy,
billowing clouds of gypsy white
wedding. I see them holding on
to each other, laughing as the
driver races away, and I miss the
shot. But people do inhabit the
sward – if not for long. There is a
tiny path worn across the grass
where lads cross over to play
football. At the end of May there
was a human-sized patch in the
waist-deep grass, where
someone had slept by the lime
tree. Amongst the wildflowers
there is rubbish, probably
thrown from car windows *
achillea * birds foot trefoil * ragwort *
red clover * plastic bottle * buttercup *
speedwell * cigarette packet
* mallow * cigarette butt * dandelion *
 daisy * sweet wrapper * plastic
bottle * plantain * hawkweed *
ragwort * ragwort * plastic bottle *
buttercup * nitrous oxide bottle *
teasel * plastic bottle * bristly ox
tongue * hub cap * crisp packet * plastic *

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