THE BOOK PAGES
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All through the spring, early and late, the thrush
sings in the ash tree below the cottage. It’s the first thing he hears, when he comes carefully down the narrow precipitous staircase to make coffee, and the last thing, as he leans from the small window into the quiet luminous evening, unable to abandon the unearthly magic and get into bed.
There are no leaves yet on the trees. They hold up bare, misshapen arms and bony, twiggy fingers against a pale, translucent sky; yet he can never see the thrush hidden within these interlaced, fantastical patterns. He stands watching, seeing how the gardens tip down to the two fields – sown with barley, edged with thorn and ash – and across those fields to the lane beyond which curls and climbs up to the old farmhouse....