Title: hops

Author: Jan Wagner

In: Sport 40: 2012

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, 2014, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Verse Literature

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Sport 40: 2012


page 208


ungainly at first,
they’re like calves tottering on spindly legs,
abandoned to foreign soil.

until the wires pull them up—
then they climb, and their leaves grow rough
and calloused, the edges armed with teeth.

no rest for them
until they are metres high, finding their expression
in cones that are small and yellow and bitter.

by july they are an army camp, ensconced
in the hills, silent under their green.
all at once, overnight, they’re gone,

and only their flagless poles remain.
the moon wind of the bare villages
carries the roar of the taverns across the land.