in the early hour

leaving planets

in the early hour

in the early air

alone with the light’s first warmth

frosted leaves on the hard grass

the hum of traffic passing

a magpie darts from the gum’s tall looping branch

was it the copper haired youth
first fished the brook
with Huck’s old rod
notched & straight
& half a loaf
damp as bait

where gentlemen tipped top hats
and gee-up sprang
clickity-clack the horses’ hooves
upon the bridge
lurched & rang

a lady’s laugh
all laced & curled
gurgles up through
the brook’s slow form
‘Silly, horses don’t care
that we are no-where’
clickity-clack the horses’ hooves
upon the bridge
lurch & scrape

only the magpie’s song is clear

startling ghosts in the sifting air

and something is lost

in the early hour

in the early air

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