Remembering there is  

provenance to the curved  

ditch that runs below the trees  


at the foot of the hill.  

Something about when  

and why it was made –  


a name, however dimly offered.  

He can see it from here,  

from his back window.  


He understands this place  

like a painter would. Thinks what  

are the broad bands of hundreds  


of shades of green? Of information?  

What are these pylons or the high speed through  

the tamed and thewy earth?  


He watches it rain after dinner.  

Tired, he sits and picks bits  

from between his teeth.  


And he watches it rain  

all the next day too, sitting  

in his cousin’s motor spares shop,  


or standing on the forecourt,  

cleaning his blackened nails  

right back to the quick. 

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 ...