How many kinds of mist? And times of mist?
How many places for the mist to close over or reveal?
How much space for it to vanish into?

And today, how the grass shines that the mist has left behind!

Remembering the children here, picking blackberries,
or paddling in the lake, or running up and down the drive,
or plunging on their own (but not too far) into the woods,
while their shouts went ahead of them, behind them, above them,

as if the air itself were uttering those cries
and would no more forget the trick of it
than the children’s skins and eyes would lose their gleam,
or their hair the smell of damp and wood smoke,
or their voices the urgency of all they had to say –
remembering, and thinking of where they are,
and what they do, and what they have become,
I remember also certain falls of rain so slight and silent
I never knew them to be there until I looked across the meadow
and saw the shafts of darkness coming down.

An extract from novelist Dan Jacobson’s narrative poem ‘A Month in the Country’, about himself and his wife moving into his parents-in-law’s house (Matador).

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