Hidden Country

You make me think of Essex:
not the rundown sixties towns
or dead-end coastal hamlets
but the places in-between.
The winding back lanes,
deserted railway tracks, corn
fields and forests
where the peregrines fly;
marsh country, ancient estuary
where Vikings cut our
ancestors to the bone;
where herons stalk past
rosy canal boats
and woodlands shimmer
with bluebells and green –

you are the wild man
of the wilderness
with your Danish hair
and woodsmoke smell.

When you return from the real world
riding down the lanes at midnight
together we will hide in your burrow.