Just one last time before you go
carry me again on your shoulders
take me, thrilled, wherever you fare
once more, blameless, untouchable.
Lead me again to the door, just ajar
a crack in my perception, that says
This Way and opens, letting in light
illuminating my innate landscape.
Call me at dawn to the haloed lambing shed
and war-paint my face with placenta
my joy shining at the lambs’ first bleats
my early steps, halting and tipsy as theirs.
Soothe me, bathe me in laughing tears
when the rascal ram butts me, sends me
tumbling to the scratchy grasses
under the walnut in the fat autumn orchard.
With a canny wink; you’ll understand one day
calm my terror of the snorting Hereford
bellowing shackled wantonness
boiling for the passing, indifferent heifer.
Walk with me in the valley you made mine
although I don’t own a single blade of grass
not even a pebble thrown up by the harrow
but where, if you uproot me I will perish.
Radiate once more the benign smile
that tolerated my fruitless effort
to hitch trailer to pick-up
urging always, never disdaining.
Fork again the garden’s clotted earth
hoe, plant the seed; root, leaf and berry
tilling the germ in my imagination
netted, staked and tied for protection.
Stand fast, giant skipper, at the helm
bulkhead against the raging southerly
and a fervent following sea. Shout down
the moan and rattle of shroud and spreader.
Forgive me for imagining once
that you knew so very little
and for my surprise that within
a few brief years, you knew so much.
Reassure me again, at the end of things
that my shoulders are broad enough
or perhaps, as you would say
that the world isn’t yet ready for me.