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A Fen Blow

You blew in like a fenland gale
Raising peat for miles inland
But in that wind I flew kites—each tail
Tied with bright ribbons—each hand

Pulling as they dipped and climbed
Above the flatness of the fen.
But then like other gales you took hold:
Flattened crops, tore walls, brought branches down

Till one night the whole house seemed to crack
And in the morning I awoke to find you gone
And all across the fen a silence settled back,
That deepened; and in the days to come

I patched wind-breaks for some future blow
Rebuilt windows, replaced tiles and a door
And watched the long-planted crops re-grow—
The horizons open back out as before.

But now think only of each coloured sheet
Bright above the fenland grass,
Scan the fields for any flicker in the peat,
Tap each day the barometer glass.






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