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Every time a fly went by

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How regular it is now to return,

that the change we could smell,

then see, a shift in the weather,

cows out, calves not so long taken.

Our conversation at the dining table,

crumbles over rhubarb and apple,

changes course when an insect enters

windows, freshly painted, bolted open.

A trap of tape, a cousin swears,

can catch hundreds on a single strip,

a scatter of unfortunate specks,

all stuck wings and bent-back legs.

The midges, remembers my mother,

came as clouds in childhood, home

a roof woven of her father’s thatch

and her mother’s voice still in song.

Once a phone box rang after customs,

my grandfather gone at the end of the line,

and I not born, told later my grandmother

blessed herself before leaving the ground.

The past whispers as a place setting,

we continue as a full sun hangs late,

a mirror moon along familiar fields,

weeks another era, years yet the same.

And our child, held for but a moment,

forgets the dinner spoon almost bitten

at nothing but the sight of a single fly,

for which she knows no word, only awe.

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