Rural Living – a poem by Mary Anne Smith


Rural Living

One last time, before he leaves,
Hare writes his name along the skyline;
the twin strokes in the H of his ears,
the cursive ‘a’ of his pale brown face,
the ‘r’ in his resting rear legs, then a
brief glimpse of the sans-serif ‘e’ of his
neat white tail, and he is gone.

A cloud of purple Quaking-grass lies adrift
like a piece of fallen dusk, and with its
final breath speaks in a shiver of whispers
through the Fescue and Timothy,
Canary Grass and Cat’s-tail, Cock’s-foot
Dog’s Wheat, Holy Grass and Hare’s Tail.

In a blur of striated moth-wings the Lark rises,
following Icarus’ flight-path to the sun;
answering the call of the void, he offers up
one last high-pitched, unbroken chant for
his old territory as it disappears beneath him,

falling away

to lawns and a new order. They don’t have to
spell it out, but of course, they do. This is
after all what they call rural living,
this uniform co-existence, marked out
in lines of freshly sprung-up signs, all
neatly labelled and site-appropriate:

Skylark Heights
Old Meadow Way
Hare Court.

Rural Living by Mary Anne Smith won second prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (August 2018) judged by Roger Elkin

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