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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 4, December 2017
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Claire Everett
Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England


Leave Day

Up at the crack of dawn and already we've cycled through two counties. Downhill, singing I'm gonna wash The Man right out of my hair! at the top of our voices past Crow's Cottage, Crookledy and Peep o'Day.

windfall apples . . .
your earworm
becomes mine

The countryside has its own seasonal rhythms, and right now it's about ploughing and absence, with No Vacancies signs in the B & B's and tea shop upon tea shop closed, until one on a draughty corner elicits a screech of brakes and an ungainly u-turn. It comes with a rickety table, abseiling spiderlings, a tree canopy of dangling ash keys, and a terrier called Staffie snuffling at our shoes. We are soon seated, with our hands shielding our espressos, while we listen to the proprietor's tales of Staffie.

No, he is not his dog. This is just part of his morning constitutional. He comes over for a treat then poddles over to the pub for scraps before scent-marking hither and thither around the village. Old now, when he was a pup the children used to dress him in a bonnet.

We settle the bill, leave a small tip for chews for Staffie, then we're on our way.

clouds on the hills
the old lady's bloomers
whiter for the sun

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