Falling Out

By Annabelle Fuller


April: the rooms are lit

By a thin slip of moon,

Sliver-disc fringed by the

Filminess of the mist,

A little bit blued. New

Lambs test their legs, try prove

The sinews true to a

Nearby ewe. The wet of

The earth hasn’t yet welled

Through, and the fresh bled mess

Of vegetable cords that

Grow just over the wall

Stay blurred by the dirt while

The sheep trim down the turf.

The turnip root, the split

Pink of it, slick as a

Slit in the skin, quick-springed

Like a twitching fist, the

Livid gleam, the girth, is

Still. The purple steep of

The bristling heath lies up

On the hill; the smell of

Foxglove bells seeps in. The

Land falls out, wide like a

Striking arm, low to high

Like the rise of the rye.

From farm to farm, the dawn

Slides outward from the sky

And the cocks give cry. The

Stare of the bantam’s eye;

Its cherry comb; the claws

That rake the floor for flies;

Slack wattles; beaks of bone.

I can feel the creep of

The seeds, the spent heifer’s

Milk held down by cream, the

Keens of the sheep. The way

Wool seems to keep being

Seized by fence and hedge, peeled

Off from the flock to be

Bleached by the sun’s neat beams.

The leaning stalk of the

Crop, the angle just off;

The jutting hock of a

Pig’s back leg; a blow to

The head. Two preying birds

Dip-dive and circle, furl

Their feathers or shed, go

Shelter an egg. Lent ends

Late, lasts long; England leaves

Her fast and stands as the

Fields turn fat, fill up

With foods that cannot come

Too soon. Now, at last, the

End of the recent past -

The pastures green, the lambs’

Weak knees. The giving way,

The staying in place. May:


ANNABELLE FULLER reads Classics and English at Magdalen. She is not currently entertaining.


Art by Maddy Clegg

Somerville College
Woodstock Road, Oxford,
OX2 6HD, UK
orbeditor@gmail.com
The ORB is published with permission of LM Publishing Ltd, Palladium House, 1-4 Argyll St, London W1F 7LD.
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