Afternoon quietens along the valley.
The last of the hay’s been cut
and here comes our host,
scythe shouldered, up the lane.
His wave dispels premonition.
He’s not Death, but Life –
and a life long-lived on this land
that occupies him with its tasks.
High contrails might reattach us
to ours – although they disperse
as quickly as they form above
these knuckled granite peaks.
On the balcony’s half-gutted sofa,
we’re waiting on the sunset
and firefly hour, star patterns
unfamiliarly bright …
And she cuts up through the orchard,
a tray clinking with cups.
‘Before tea, there is tea,’ she says.
‘Black tea with lemon.’
Image: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips