The Cart Track

There’s a photograph
of children balancing
on the bales
on their way back

from that lost school
in the glen
They are in half tilt
down the hill

the road rutted even then
one lassie is just clinging
on but not caring
she’s in mid laugh

Behind her the river
winds wider than now
there are stooks
in the fields dots

that may be people
making a last mark
on a century
of black and white

Walk the track now
it has narrowed
like arteries
room between

the rhododendrons
for a Saturday stroll
with a fat Labrador
a view through the trees

to the village
strung down there,
its bright empty houses
pink lemon white