Culverthorpe. At the edge of crumbled furrows
stood the blackthorn, its spring long frothed off,
baring its wizenings, its dark bark and bites.
Blunting them, buffering before winter,
were swirled purples, knucklebone buds. Smaller-fingered,
I plucked them till they sagged our outstretched plastic bag.
At home, the needle pricked like a finch-peck
so the blood slowly threaded the gin. The bottle
was stopped, put away. I would imagine
the nights’ smutchy clutch, the smirr and cinnamon
spring, warmth pawing like a low-burning hearth;
but not a drop of the foretaste – wasted or not –
no trickle some day enriching, giving
in a thin black nib at my fingertips.