For Bernadette Robson

Horses hooves
and the grumble of iron-hooped wheels
on the stony lane.

A stack of scented hay
built on a limestone frame
on mushroom tops
to foil the rats
and conserve a winter’s feed.

The sweat of men on summer days;
talk of girls and games
and local gossip.
Tea and doorstep sandwiches at noon
propped against the dry-stone wall.

The cobbled yard abandoned
to grass and thorn
for more than sixty years,
reclaimed, laid out and planned
to host a home.

Raised beds, a lawn, fruit trees
and drills of extra-mural spuds.
She brought this place to life again
and will preserve with care
this haggard without hay.

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