Requisition at Abinger

by Claire Crowther

By ponds damming the Tillingbourne
he strikes a bell with his hammer.

By ponds damming the Tillingbourne
hammer men make chains and hooks

on this common land, disparked
to give wood for the mills. My love

(whose need I am going to supply)
is in the first stages of sainthood –

God is giving him things… I’m such
a thing, a bunch of watercress,

more stalk than leaf. The painted smith
opens the clock to sound me out.

He strikes a bell with his hammer.