Walking the Ring Road

A sprig of hawthorn brushes away gritty
city miles – back to gran banishing me
and may blossom from the house –
Smell of death. Smell of death.

I’m running back to the trees clouding
the field edge, burrowing up from the hollow way.
The knotty roots circle me like grandad’s embrace.
I curl into a sheep’s alcove to breathe as one lung

with the tree and wait for summer to avalanche.
Grandad called the leaves bread and cheese
I chewed till my teeth were bitter green and
sucked sweet stalked grass – stayed hungry.

Outdoors, among young trees, smell is sweeter.
Plotting the flit of feverflies and robberflies,
I was soothed by bees droning – so different
from this ring road’s rush hour swarm.

Traffic lights turn red, crossing figure to green.
Hawthorn spray, relic of the country lane,
me across four carriageways to the hospital drive,
scent and bees lost in exhaust fumes.




Chris Kinsey grew up in Herefordshire but always wanted to head for the hills and landed in Mid-Wales. She’s had 5 collections of poetry published, her most recent: From Rowan Ridgewas commissioned by Fair Acre Press.