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A Good Year for Painted Ladies by Alison Riley

Sat around the kitchen table, talk is of the weather.
We cross fingers, toes, eyes, for dry days for making hay.
A line of unruly wellies skulk near the door like sheepdogs
Not used to being in the house.

Hours slide by like mud hosed from the yard.
July rain lashes down. Lashes across to be precise.
Billowing like bed sheets on a line.
The forecast’s better for later in the week.

It’s been a hot, wet summer.
You don’t want grass sticking to your boots like it has.
We make silent promises to any god that’s listening
For a clear run for cutting, tedding, baling.

A plate of home-made buns lands on the table.
It’s nigh on impossible to worry about anything
With a mug of hot tea in one hand, a bun in the other.
Still, it’s been a good year for painted ladies.