Thursday 27 November 2014

Another fatality of the year.

for Phillip Hughes

The town is up North, across the fenlands and further; back in the time and place where your mother once lived until things and dreams her south.

There are chimneys and bricks, cold hard stone and grey skies, street markets and football grounds with turnstiles where the men are wearing hats.

The street is on the edge of all that, behind the old mansion with the boilers that need constant maintenance as they belch smoke into the night.

The house is here.

The garden is out back.

At the end of the garden is the shed; more desk than tools.

At the side of the shed is the iron-gate.

Through the iron-gate are the fields that you can cross to the woods that lie beyond; there are always woods just beyond.

But here, in the centre of the field is the strip. It is greener than most, flatter too, more true.

It is not certain who cut the grass, but someone did and now our playing keeps it so.

Three wooden stumps are set into the soft yielding earth; it is still early summer and the rain has been frequent from those grey skies.

But today, the clouds are less and the blue above welcomes us.

And we play.

We stop for tea and sandwiches, listening to the radio. They are playing at the Oval too.

Everything is perfect.

Summer is beginning.

The world spins and is in order.

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