broad-leaved trees hang heavy,
weighed down by warm summer rain,
dripping, damping the narrow lane.
behind them, tall pines dominate.
their sappy, evergreen tang
draws out childhood memories
hungrily waiting beneath
each moment’s thin skin.
beyond the wooded shade
an astonishing olfactory concerto is freed.
sky and sun grin nourishing light
onto an orchestra of honeysuckle,
mallow, meadowsweet and blushing briar
as they loudly bloom in a fragrant bid
for bees to feed their seed.
lesser flowers, basking in their glory,
speckle the hedges with bright contrast
and are powdered with natures generous dregs.
and although our childhood house
slouches, grey and shamed,
the garden cramped with
the wrong kind of weeds,
the wrong kind of trees,
I am home again.
here, though rain clouds dim,
clean air fits all of the spaces
around and beneath the skin,
caressing tired muscles
and scarred, aching soul.
it’s where I know I
will always be safe;
where the trees remember me,
inviting me to climb.
where the plush grass
keeps its unspoken promise
to break my fall.
Stowford, always my home.
©Jane Paterson Basil