I stop to change my shirt at the top of a track
that runs down to the barn. Sheep stare as the car rolls
to where you’re picking blackcurrants. Later, a fire
in a square of bricks, and at midnight, bangers, bottled ale
and the last of a clear spirit you brought back from the East.
A bed of embers glow larval under a feathering of ash
and tomorrow we’ll make light work,
prising stalks from glistening blackcurrants,
the long and short cobbled roads of our spines
stooped and aligned, jam-handed
as you funnel sugar through a thick glass neck,
upend vodka to unfurl purple-blue ribbons from the fruit,
steeped and left to ferment for God knows how long,
capped with a bang of your juice-dyed palm.



From ‘The Great Animator’. First published in ‘The High Window’, issue 1.

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