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I notice a cold streak
I notice it in the sun
all that dazzling stubbornness
of keeping to its clock


I notice the fatigue of flowers
weighed down by light
I notice the lark has a needle
pulled through its throat


why don’t they put down their instruments?
I notice they never pause
I notice the dark sediment of their singing
covers the moors like soot blown under a doorway

 

almost everything here has cold hands
I notice the wind wears surgical gloves
I notice the keen pale colours of the rain
like a surgeon’s assistant


why don’t they lift their weight
and see what’s flattened underneath it?
I notice the thin meticulous grass,
thrives in this place

Cold Streak

Alice Oswald

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