Bread
For Pat Morrissey

With the sun on your broad
back, you adjust your hat
and take the rutted track,
stumbling where tractors
slid and slipped, struggled
to grip and churned the
earth into deep channels,
now hardening like clay.

You pause above small
pools that formed in the
downpour, taken with
the tadpoles that wriggle
through water muddied by
still suspended particles of soil,
ruffled by gusts from the wind
that’s got up overnight.

Your boots sink in the mud
as you make halting progress
along the yielding fringes
of inundated hollows
where pigeons dip to sip,
flapping off at your approach
to disturb the sparrows
looking on from ancient oaks.

You meet no-one but there
are words as you comment
on your progress: cursing
as the boot fills, interrogating
birds of prey as to their
identity, debating a first
unscrewing of the thermos,
a first sit down with a biscuit.

Some day this will stop.
Who will remember
the man who set out
each Sunday morning
through deserted fields
to record the otherwise
unwitnessed and returned
with loaves and stories?

 

Glenn Hubbard has lived in Madrid for 31 years and has been writing poems since 2012. Though fluent in Spanish, he is poetic only in English and has had poems published in a number of magazines. Last year one of his poems was submitted for the Forward Prize.