Near the Footpath, by Geraldine Cousins

Geraldine Cousins is a member of the Kent and Sussex Poetry Society who lives in Hampshire. This poem was selected for Folio #73, published in 2019.

Near the Footpath

Dividing Hamlyn's fields from Day's
among a rank growth of cornstalks
sweet clover and stubble
one of the boys saw metal
sticking out from the earth
like a whale's fin.

With their feet and sticks and stones
they gradually unearthed
a large mound of mud-caked mystery.
A dead weight to carry home.

Again in my mind, I saw the field
as once it had been - packed with people.
Go and stuff your plough
you stingy old scoundrel
someone shouted at me
in my working clothes all darned and patched
my hopper round my neck for a scrip
with a bushel of rye inside

All afternoon 
the two brothers sat on the grass in the sun
their voices murmuring through open windows
as they chiselled away at leaden clay
to find at last a hundred-year-old 
iron ploughshare.

The kingdom of heaven is like unto
a treasure hid in a field.

Quotations from: Piers Plowman, William Langland. 

Matthew chapter 13. v44

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