Slea & Fen Blow
The Old Slea, where the cattlefield furrowed down from the New. The one they left alone, undug, undredged, let go its own slower way.
A shallow stream, really, by the blood-catch of the blackberry bush and plumped nettle-backs, slipping under the crumbling blocks of the pack bridge.
We came for the scrabbed banks, the scatter-stones, the bronze drainage pipe that columned across, for how the flow ratted out from the shadow
into rushes and twists, silty gurgles and sucks, skylark bubblings and sullen, swollen deeps. We came especially in the long summer slump,
jumping in – or almost across – trying the pipe, plashing down where the cows lowered and tongued. But best of all was bending in midstream,
dipping again, delicate as a pen, for the hurried bulge, the cool and flurry-back, wrapping the current around your finger
as clearly as she had you wrapped around hers.