The rain, forecast yesterday but driven by gales which had arrived overnight, had blown most of the leaves out of sight along with the remains of the summer. It was autumn now and the water table was rising, turning the dips in the fields into pools of marshland where tufts of couch grass reached up through the water like drowning fingers waving in the wind. He found a dry place to sit on a mound between the roots under a tree at the edge of the field. His head was like sheet music, the black notes and beats formed a rhythm that was interrupted only by a string of birdsong that unravelled across the morning as the clouds swept past. He had no idea where the tune had come from – the composition had its own agenda – and the chords struck a new key, one locked away in a layer of his subconscious that he didn’t visit very often. He closed his eyes and as the gales returned a fresh refrain blew in across the fields.

© Diane Becker 2008/09

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