THE ROAD AND THE HILL

The road humped over the hill and dipped
and out of politeness we dipped too
and didn’t go as the butterfly did
straight across and into the view.

We stayed outside and behind our faces
as the road curled steeply down from the sky
though the birds still saw it all as flat
with an unblinking eye.

Down here the houses have slid together
and startled a stream from a handful of stones
and clamped it down with an old stone bridge
to stop it snapping at their bones.

And the stream, we see, serves everyone,
spins a matchbox through a private forest,
splutters for one who
stops to rest
and scrape his shoe
and cough the drizzle off his chest.

.

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