Early Summer Run

A dusty road snaking down
 To sound of constant whine.
The rumbling sound of trailers carried,
Grass-cutting is the sign
Of summer in this ancient lane- 
A vein off an artery.
None will know that this exists
Save those whose lane it be.

To run this route is less well known 
But beautiful all the same.
It slopes away beneath the hill 
Contouring is this lane.
So stride is long and metres swift
From top to valley floor.
The river is a welcome sight,
The shade of trees assured. 

The river's sound is pleasant now-
A soft flow through the gorge.
Slabs of stone are now revealed
Undercut by constant force.
Sparkling water runs so clear
And tempting it would be 
To take a dip within its depths
As it glints and beckons me.

Instead the view of houses
Perched up on the hill;
The choice is there- short and steep-
Or even longer still.
Past the old kiln cottages 
The true height though is hidden 
A laboured run up the narrow track 
Roughly worn and pot hole riven.

This, an hour, is not so long
 As others on my rounds,
But offers up the best in choice
of running steep hills down.
The shelter though and trees contrast
And the river is a dream
And often favoured is this way
To run a while unseen.

Ruth Partridge

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