The Valley of the Stour with Dedham in the Distance

Emily Hasler

o England, the time we thought
your cows were cricketers
the sun was blinking round
like an uncle saying o o o
very quietly to his feet
the fizzed out grass
beery river thick with weeds
water meadows endless even
the church kept winking
on the horizon popping between
poplars bending willows
standard oaks a tower
too grand a digression ups
downs trade booms mills
puritans buried by law in wool
soil smoothed to subtle tumuli
soft buttered decline a boat
buffing a bank in evening light
the tower again Constable added it in
if he could quite right you must
fix a scene with something
pretend churches stay put
place your men Captain
arrange the gaps the cows stood
circled intent groupings
of white curdling in the corner
of the eye cricket end of season
tea the milk still settling