Sunday, 29 November 2015

Farm Portrait, 1880

Dear Reader,

Dormice, which live mainly in trees or shrubs, have been having a bad time crossing roads and railways of late.  This has had a very detrimental effect on the dormouse population being able to breed.  So various organizations such as "The People's Trust for Endangered Species" and "Wildlife Bridges" have thought of a way to help them.  They have built arboreal bridges, made out of ropes and poles, stretching across the roads and railways to allow the dormice to scuttle from one wooded area to another.   Where these bridges have been made, the results seem to have been very successful, and the dormice are now having a good time.


Farm Portrait, 1880

That's me in the painting, a potato-picking wife,
dressed in clogs, a woollen shawl, a woollen shirt.
I stand on stony ground with my riddle and my knife,
put potatoes in my apron, worn over muddy skirt.
And that's my husband, wearing an old cloth cap
over pale face and wistful eyes, digging with our son,
while coughing Sarah holds within her lap
the swaddled, crying babe, until our work is done.
Our house is cold, dark and full of mice,
the grind is hard, the winter weather harsh,
damp oozes from the walls, and we have lice,
the lonely peewit calls from the eerie marsh.
But, at dawn today, I heard a blackbird sing
and hope arose with thoughts of coming spring.

With very best wishes,   Patricia


Eugenie said...

Hello! You're right. I love this one. I want to find a picture of the dormouse bridges. What a wonderful idea. And I love the poem too. Is it from a real painting?


Jessica D said...

Well, I've had a quick look online and indeed, lots of very expensive dormouse bridges have been built - happy dormice but not so happy taxpayer!! Anyway, I'm on the dormouse' side!
Lovely poem too.

Jenny said...

These are wonderful musings, mullings, poems Trish.

Thank you