In Hayfield I imagine
not just the nuts and bolts of split cockpits
but a Spitfire’s sunk fuselage
has smoked out its entirety unseen
from one century to the next.
At Edale Cross, Birch Vale or Kinder,
in rock, field or peat bog
more than machinery beds down and is lost,
but here in this field
with all of the exposed corn,
yellow as scattered light
bubble-packing the soil,
the vanishings are less numerous
but no less strange -
a child here, a dog there,
a stoat whose teeth weren’t defence enough
have become a cache of quiet forgettings,
plucked without fuss
and gone without trace
and a frayed crucifix -
tweed coat, stoved in chest
and stitched neck ruff -
has shrugged his coat hanger shoulders
and pogo’d west from the rising sun.
In the first tatters of light
blameless crows rattle in the wind.
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