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Stug Jordan

(18-8-81 / Norfolk, UK)


I look at her family as though
I had been born into it,
to imagine her ancestors as mine,
and that our relationship is almost incestual,
like two unfamiliar cousins.

Perhaps it’s because my family’s past
is so ambiguous, almost lost;
where a face like mine could wander
in and out of a census unrecognised,
or immortalised unknowingly
in the foreground of a Constable;

or else indefinite articles in prison cells
or reluctant conscripts,
finding their personal inch
in an acre of mud.

Whereas she is more of a blossom
on a shoot, sprung from a branch
with a root imbedded,
firmly with its gnarled decades
winding to the sun:

two horses fed first,
growing impatient in a paddock
where the two hands wrestle reins
between their fingers, awkward grasps
on leather, and dragging metal into the fields;

a low sun leaving a wedge of shadow
on the eyes under flat caps,
and inborn sounds, harsh syllables
like the sound of the twisted crops,
ringing in equine ears.

And then it’s the onset of post-war efficiency;
a razorish hum of depressed engines
and accurate furrows –
a forsaken half slice of bread and awkward
butter unskilfully spread, assuming
a place on the table with tins of milk
while the noise fractures the earth,

like raking up the dead and putting
in the living, sowing a tree
where a stranger might one day decide
to hang his boots on its branch,

one delicate string to lace the two together.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Edited: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

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  • Danny Reynolds (4/18/2007 10:39:00 AM)

    I am having to force myself to take my own advice. I have often told people, ready to give up their passion after seeing a virtuoso performance, that they should try even harder. It’s hard, but I’ll keep trying.
    Danny (Report) Reply

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