There was a sunlit absence. The helmeted pump in the yard heated its iron, water honeyed
in the slung bucket and the sun stood like a griddle cooling against the wall
of each long afternoon. So, her hands scuffled over the bakeboard, the reddening stove
sent its plaque of heat against her where she stood in a floury apron by the window.
Now she dusts the board with a goose's wing, now sits, broad-lapped, with whitened nails
and measling shins: here is a space again, the scone rising to the tick of two clocks.
And here is love like a tinsmith's scoop sunk past its gleam in the meal-bin.
2. The Seed Cutters
They seem hundreds of years away. Brueghel, You'll know them if I can get them true. They kneel under the hedge in a half-circle Behind a windbreak wind is breaking through. They are the seed cutters. The tuck and frill Of leaf-sprout is on the seed potates Buried under that straw. With time to ****, They are taking their time. Each sharp knife goes Lazily halving each root that falls apart In the palm of the hand: a milky gleam, And, at the centre, a dark watermark. Oh, calendar customs! Under the broom Yellowing over them, compose the frieze With all of us there, our anonymities.