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The Vineyard

Today, a rare openness
to the edge in all events:
the way good things can hurt
with the sharpness of a blade.
Take love for example.
A free good, prized
but also feared:
the commotion, the recklessness,
the impossibility of delay.
And then how casually
it is left to take care of itself
when the mood changes,
the weather turns cold again
or something intervenes –
the look of a dress in a shop window,
a hunger for chips. It must be
the season of the pricking vine,
when inkwells fill and dip pens
scratch their way along the rows,
practising the ms and ns, the diligent rs,
all with their hooks in place.
Vineyards are the exercise books
of spring. New hands
are tried out every day.
Look at the exuberance
of that joined-up writing
bursting into tendril, leaf:
it is our names they are rehearsing,
written in green against the sky.

Beatrice Garland