Drive South Listening to Country Music

(for Greg Burns) 


Twenty miles from the trout farm  

there is just music  


and the green Volvo  

and the clouds breaking open now  


where it had been  

raining hard.  


I’m wishing it was a whole  

continent we had to travel into,  


with drives that last  

whole days to get to the water,  


and big game fish and names  

like sockeye and wahoo to learn –  


a land ready to receive us,  

right to the edge of the mesa.  


But happy enough too  

with our worn hills  


of hacked up chalk,  

driving half an hour with you, the quiet brother,  


and the pedal steel flowing  

into your silence like all your best fish. 

from 'Country Music' (Offord Road Books, 2020), © Will Burns 2020, used by permission of the author.

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Will Burns is a poet and novelist. He first came to prominence in 2014 as a Faber New Poet and has since authored poetry collections ...