On Monday, three yellow goslings and the gander’s tongue thrust out. On Wednesday, three goslings, each with a dark Mohican streak, the gander’s tongue thrust out.
A face comes back from Earlier times; freckled, round, brown eyes, and red, fair hair, nothing beyond ordinary, that always seems relaxed.
The gait below it; slightly splayed and rolling. On Thursday, suddenly the may was open everywhere, its small white clusters
like the rowan or cow parsley; the florets twisted, flicking on the breeze. On Sunday, one upon the water, its head tucked beneath its wing;
the other adult bird was resting by the bank, the water rippling its drowned head. Of the goslings, nothing. On the canal, warm dots
of summer rain. Among the grasses, Friesians walk from grass to grass. That face opens out upon itself; the bee’s feet touch the flower.
by Ian Pople
'A week of running beside the canal' is copyright © Ian Pople, 2011. It is reprinted by permission of Arc Publications from Saving Spaces by Ian Pople (Arc Publications, 2011).
Ian Pople was born in Ipswich. He was educated at the British Council, Athens and the Universities of Aston and Manchester. His first book of poetry, The Glass Enclosure , was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. His second collection, An Occasional Lean-to , was published by Arc in 2005. He teaches at the University of Manchester. Read further selections from Saving Spaces, Ian Pople's latest collection, on Arc's website here.
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