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Sedum Spectabile (Ice Plant) of the Crassulaceae family, a hardy perennial with bright pink flowers.  Seen here in the snow.  

January 1909
Tracks and Pathways

 

This old chalk rise is not entirely free

of blemishes. A slight track runs down

the length of its belly where snow

gathers, loosens, and gives way.

Still mostly covered it eases from

blackthorn, laid grasses, nettle.

Your belly was once a path in snow.

That summer just before the bell

we clattered in, the two of us

alone, and from the next door cubicle,

I sang your name to strike the echoes

from the walls – while you ahead

of me in all such things – slid

your cold finger down that centre line.

 

 

© Janet Sutherland

Picture 10437618, photograph by Reginald A Malby, 1909

 

 

Janet Sutherland was born in Wiltshire and grew up on a dairy farm. She has an MA in American Poetry from the University of Essex. Bone Monkey (April 2014) is her third full length collection. Her poems are widely anthologised: from The Virago Book of Love Poetry and The New British Poetry 1968-88 (Paladin) to The Apple Anthology, Nine Arches Press 2013. Her essay ‘Reznikoff and his Sources’ appeared as an afterword to the recent Black Sparrow (US) and Five Leaves (UK) editions of Reznikoff’s Holocaust.  A founder member of Needlewriters writers’ cooperative, she lives in Lewes, East Sussex.