“Come then, for the incomparable views alone
will take your breath away.” He handed the strap
with binoculars to add to the sack on my back;
we booted up, filled flasks, wrapped sandwich bags,
turned to Polaris..
“For this is Eden, this is England,”
he enthused, barely losing a breath as we crossed
field after field until by the beck, after the spinney
he pointed.“That rise will give us view to Eden itself.
I tramped slowly after, unused to such sights,
blessed the brief tree shade, heard a meadow pipit’s
help-cry, a triple pheet, but over stone walls
we moved through tangled sphagnums and sedge
Gritstone shards flecked the way. Muddy
we squelched on darkening ground.
He shouted, having reached the rise.
I took out my binoculars to view
but all I saw was a gibbet, halters on the ground,
and a flesh-bitten fleece on bones
swaying slightly in the breeze.
This cannot be England, I thought.
© Jeffrey Loffman