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The Field, Tomorrow

by George MacBeth

I wanted the bare field out there to be mine.
Each day, at my typing, I saw the smooth line

Of the sycamores, breaking the sweep of the grass
To the farm and the river. I saw the sails pass

Far away, white and simple, where yachts moved at Thurne.
And I looked down, in pride, at my nearest stone urn.

From that urn to the sycamores, this was my land,
With the wide breadth of Norfolk stretched gold on each hand.

I had space, in my dream, and six acres to keep.
I had grass for my garden, and twenty new sheep.

It's all over. The field has been sold, to my friends,
And the dream of broad acres, all hope of it, ends.

At the auction I bid high, too high for my good,
And I'm glad that I missed it, at that price, I should

Have been forced into borrowing, bound to the shape
Of solicitor's ropes. But it still feels like rape

To see horses, brown horses, that other men own
(In my mind they seem galloping, sculptured like stone)

Out there in my bare field. I touch them, and weep,
And remember my dream, and the slow-moving sheep,

Their cold, lovely fleece, and their beautiful eyes,
And their mouths, low and cropping, surrounded by flies.


Norfolk Poems





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