My Village

BB hawthorn hedge


My Village

This village was once known for the making of scythes. In the place of scythes are smart cars, burnished carriage lamps and hanging baskets of garishly coloured flowers.

I know all the paths in this place – the one that leads to the narrow dark lane and the old oak tree, the one that skirts the edge of the recreation ground and passes the small hill, the one that edges the mill pond and breaks into two and the path that takes my steps to the churchyard. All these paths lead to somewhere – the oak, the pond, the church – but these paths also lead me to places no longer visible to the eye. A cricket pavilion. A field of elms. The brick scythe works. The gypsy caravans. An icy pond with skaters. A lake with a floating raft constructed out of barrels and rope. Plus two weddings, two funerals and a kiss behind a shed. I see these things as clearly as the path in front of me with its patches of drying mud, its thistles and nettle clumps, the tall grass. But perhaps you do not.

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