Before she had never known men like them, from countries full of space and sheep, following wool North to pack fleece in hessian. They smelled of lanolin, anchovies, sweat, indefinable maleness. Their talk came in bursts over clippers, or between the struggles of ewes. She tried to listen in, heard words but lost meanings. She took them lemonade on trays, an uncertain waitress licking spills from her fingers. She felt their eyes on her skin, liked the way they called her ‘lamb’, and lingered close until they moved their blades near her hair, threatened to trim. They laughed as she ran. But all her life she’ll want men like them who’ll tease her with threats, who’ll twine her curls like apple peel around their fingers. All her life desire will speak in soft accents, use language she longs to steal, hold in her mouth so she can taste men’s secrets.
Anne Summerfield
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