We knew it wasn’t ours – considered it on loan,
sliver of old wild earth made common ground,
swallowed by city, only partially digested,
an accidental place, become essential.
You entered on foot down two tight lanes,
sloping green through a valley of allotments,
patchwork empires of roll-ups and potato,
frontiers set by beanstalk, wiry bramble.
Each dirt pocket nailed down like a promise,
justifying heady hours of unconfinement,
giving vivid form to waking Sunday dreams,
realised in countless bursts of enthusiasm,
Their plump courgettes never mattered much to us,
fists of carrot figured nowhere in our calculations,
looking only forward, hatching sketchy plans,
in pig sheds outside a country pub that wasn’t.
Tending always one more pint of vague ambition,
we sat there restless, cradled tight and careless,
within criss-cross tracks, dappled ash tree paths,
impatient at the edge of all we thought we knew.