Rain patters the leaves over our heads. Dog runs, on scent based urges, round my general position. Brambles are closing up the path: cotton leggings were a mistake. Everything smells freshly damped, even the river, even the stale quarry pools. On a shale beach a feathered jewel waits for me to admire it. A duck's gift, I think, and carry it home, and it is tucked behind the Buddha figure that lives in my car.
Later, after work, instead of driving back through the main street, me, Buddha, the feather, we take the snaky single track under the willow, over the bridge, along the side of the crooked castle. Windscreen wipers clear the view: the day's light stoops under the blanketing night: I couldn't sing any louder no matter how I may try.