The Red Hill

after Elisabeth Vellacott

The midmorning ridge, dreaming
fields. Harvest. A harvest moon
last night, and today, a hare
balanced on the edge, briefly.

Remember this. It may not
come again, the razor sky,
the trees, rust and leaves
in the air. Perfect stillness.

Commit it to yourself
so that it enters your blood,
returns as a heartbeat
the second before you move

forward, and it is shattered.
Your mark will be erased
by wind, hard rain,
by the way you race

from one place to another,
wanting so to lie down,
to fit the earth around you,
taste the ferrous clay.

Remember this, before
it shifts to brick, asphalt,
to a white curtain, a bare room;
many rooms will clutter your head.

Beyond the ridge, the little house,
the fire lit. In it are people
you love. They are waiting.
You close your eyes

and the field breaks into lines,
a sketch of a field, it blurs
and aches, gives way
to white. You fill in the rest.