by Hannah Brockbank

We’ve left sloe-picking late.
Now white yeast clouds
the surface of their bruised moons.

I wasn’t there when she needed me;
a difficult birth,
that led her to the edge.

And now she rolls her eyes
as my clumsy hands knock
and scatter sloes onto the grass,

and when we have filled
each stale box and creaking basket,
and cannot manage the weight

of each other’s silence, we leave
Black Down and its crumbling path
that fools us into reaching out.