Had the car park not been full
we’d not have driven on to Castle Bolton
where the picture from the calendar came to life.
We wouldn’t have seen meadowsweet
or meadow cranesbill
as we walked to the Lower Falls
and back a slightly different way,
over the old railway line.
We’d still have come by Middleham,
passed Jervaulx Abbey
and driven back through Leyburn,
stopped in Bedale for a pint of milk,
then down what was once the Great North Road.
We’d have eaten our picnic by the Ure
not in a field as I did with others
far away on this day long ago.
I’d still have known today
was my English teacher’s birthday.