We knew it wasn’t ours but considered it on loan,
a sliver of old wild earth made common ground,
swallowed by the city yet only half digested;
an accidental place, made somehow necessary.
In you went on foot, down two tight lanes,
ambling, sloping, through allotments,
each an earth pocket nailed down like a promise,
with bramble and beanstalk to mark the bounds.
A hundred little empires of roll-ups and potatoes,
ruled over in countless bursts of enthusiasm,
raised up in snatched hours of unconfinement,
giving form to someone’s waking Sunday dreams.
Their stringy beans didn’t matter much to us,
carrots figured nowhere in our calculations,
looking forward as we hatched our plans,
in cowsheds outside a perfect pub.
We couldn’t wait then for what comes next,
nursing restless pints and vague ambitions,
poking and prodding at our borders
Impatient to escape our callow days.
There we sat cradled, tight and careless,
by criss-cross tracks, ash trees and exit roads
still stretching forward, pulsing alive here,
on the threshold of all that we knew.