Valediction to Durham

I have known your seasons
Of perdition and regain,
Breathed your cutgrass summers and autumn petrichor;
I have kissed your rolling hills with my eyes
And trudged cobbled lanes with heavy feet.

I have known every colour that dusk can be
As it glimmers betwixt terraced rows,
Named roads and bridges for secrets and kisses,
Near misses, epiphanies.

And like all great love affairs,
You could be cold
And I – often distant;
Unable to face the twists that I trod
Into your history.
Your wide, dark river burst its banks,
I bled in empathy.

And yet I found love in the fickle heart
Of your Northern antiquity.
I have shaped my weapons from you –
What have you made out of me?

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