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Linda France

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Wood Sorrell

Every stone seems to say this is how much
you don't know - the name of those birds

spiking the sky with their singing; the trees
in bud you can't read by branch or bark;

the exact map and colour of the lichen -
each block of limestone a different complexion;

the faces that built it. The list's as long,
as impossible as the Wall. It's a relief

to see the green trinity of wood sorrel,
fresh in the lee of dolerite and larch:

the modesty of its white petals, fine veins
of purple, smudge of yellow at the heart.

No one told you its leaves taste good and citrus.
On the other side of the Wall stretches

the endless North of all the things
you've still to discover you don't know.

Chew wood sorrel. Consider walllessness.

Hadrian's Wall, Housesteads
18 April 2002