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Linda France

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Found at Portgate

A willing prisoner I spend all day
digging stones out of the earth
like potatoes black with loam and cold
Some too big for me to lift alone

Dressed rectangles or chiselled curves
I wonder if what I'm digging up is Rome
refugees from Dere Street across the fields
or the Wall hiding behind the Military Road

I handle them with barbarian irreverence
deaf to the drumroll of leather on paving
the comings and goings of Empire
More concerned with the triumvirate

of snow buntings in the leafless rowan
and whether we'll have enough flat stones
to edge the new pond still just
a dark brown apostrophe against the grass