by Roselle Angwin


The bead curtain of the rain at the door's threshold, the way rain's contours soften the winter hills and trees. Beyond, mist snags in the teasels. Sheep bells fill the valley like a river.
Later the boar, hearing us, fled. I thought it was the windrush in the canopy of last year's leaves. Caught the last glimpse of their hurtle through the oakwood, five of them, hairy, snorting.
You walk ahead; you are essentially solitary, a mountain man.
The cairn I make for you, on this your birthday and our beginning, balanced on the ridge at the end of the ride, limen between here and there, now and then, may last, may fall. You ask me what it means. I can't say. To mark a place and a moment, maybe. A gift, an offering, a celebration, small precarious monument to precarious early growth. An orientation? - To see the path, you need first to squint through the hole in the top stone, close-up, then step back and let it rise towards first your eyes and then your feet.

On the limestone brow
los tres peyres in low sun
dance their slow stone dance

The cycles of it all. We move between speech and silence, between intimacy and the less permeable space we each inhabit, on our own. Later I will think of the cairn, its stillness, how it consists of moss and stone grown so close they've become integral, yet each retains its own essential nature.
Your hands are in my hair. Sunset lights up the far hill for a brief instant.

We begin the walk
back down in bosky gloaming
towards the future.


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