The Caravan

We were alive that evening, on the north Yorkshire moors,
in a valley of scuffed hills and smouldering gorse.
Pheasants strutted, their feathers as richly patterned
as Moroccan rugs, past the old Roma caravan -
candles, a rose-cushioned bed, etched glass -
that I'd hired to imagine us gipsies
as our bacon and bean stew bubbled,
as you built a fire, moustached, shirt-sleeves rolled.
It kindled and started to lick, and you laughed
in your muddy boots, there in the wild -
or as close as we can now get to the wild -
skinning up a joint with dirty hands, sloshing wine
into beakers, the sky turning heather with night,
the moon a huge cauldron of light,
the chill wind blasting away our mortgage,
emails, bills, TV, our broken washing machine.
Smoke and stars meant my thoughts loosened,
and took off like the owls that circled overhead,
and I knew your hands would later catch in my hair,
hoped the wedding ring on them never seemed a snare -
for if you were a traveller I would not make you settle,
but would have you follow your own weather,
and if you were a hawk I would not have you hooded,
but would watch, dry-mouthed, as you hung above the fields,
and if you were a rabbit I would not want you tame,
but would watch you gambolling through the bracken,
though there is dark meat packed around your ribs,
and the hawk hangs in the skies.


unpublished poem, © Clare Pollard 2009, used by permission of the author.

Where next?

Recordings

Clare Pollard

Clare Pollard Reading from her poems

1The Heavy-Petting Zoo

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2The Bridesmaid

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3Breakfast Poem

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4Still Life

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5Fears of a Hypochondriac Insomniac

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6Buying Manhattan

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7Posing for Dante Gabriel Rossetti

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8To Undefine

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9Fantasy Dinner Party

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10And Desire Shall Fail

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11Mission Beach

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12To Depression

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13To Christchurch

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14The Chain

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15The Bad News

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16Notes to Self

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17For my Fiancé

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18For the Other Ones

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19For my Future Daughter

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20Cordelia at the Service Stop

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21Tam Lin's Wife

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22The Panther

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23Pendle

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24Waiting for the Kettle to Boil, Lancashire

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25October Roses

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26The Skulls of Dalston

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27First Sunflowers

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28Introducing that Most Marvellous Human Freak, the Bearded Lady Miss Lupin

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29The Two Ravens

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30The Wood

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31The Caravan

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Books by Clare Pollard