Along there, up there, across there, and up there and a pause. A lull in the sun. Chestnut leaves unfurl, tiny green fists grabbing handfuls of sky, drinking the blue down to their roots. Chaffinches, there are always chaffinches he says. A frenzy of feathers marks a death in the wood, a dark spot where the sun doesn’t reach. A pair of painted lady butterflies mingle – a story about my Great uncle Hugh who captained ships up the Amazon and collected butterflies the size of dinner plates to bring home to the family in Liverpool. I’m not from round here, but I’ll never go back he says. Its the quiet. Still water sits in hollows made by the tractor, a rusted machine, a twin tub perhaps, interred in the soil of the once garden of the cottage where now nettles and cleavers flourish choking all but the ground elder in this small jungle where a woodpecker comes every morning.

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