“Cornfields breathed in the darkness”
– Norman MacCaig
From the minute Clementine turns
into the adjacent field, a-bob with its swollen thistles
and rose-pink poppies standing tall among panting,
caramel grass, the wind taunts her.
It caresses her whisky cheeks, sets her russet hair
a-tangle with its long invisible claws; snoops
in the contents of her basket, flicking
through pages of her diary, cooling the scones
she had so carefully wrapped in sky-blue cloth.
It slides along her bare thighs, lifting
the ruffles of her pale peach skirt.
With not-so-gentle nudges it shoves her,
impatiently, along the ant-worn track
by the sluggish green creek.
When she comes to the crest of the hill
it turns against her, forcing her
to lean into it – her brown eyes blown dry.
Her feet anchor her to the hill
as far below a witness takes it
she is preparing to fly.
All Clementine can do is wait
until the wind grows limp and then
she tumbles down the hill, her scones
a-jumble in the velvety red dust.