Clearance Village

Harriet Torr

There are no workers
honing down,
no hands swinging
the scythe, no sea birds
weaviling the flail
in the tractor’s wake;
yet still I feel them
homing in the dusk
their tools hung to rest,
brass and dust,
a century’s windlass
circuiting the pores
of old saddles
wrinkled leathers breathing
horse dung and sweat.

I drink the stars
in the water’s face
hold in my mouth
the small legends,
my tongue ploughing
the sky’s ruck and fold,
the nudged summits
of a trough’s granite
where a universe
has drowned.