Elizabeth Howliston, Orkney Wind

ImageThe wind picks away at the doors like a locksmith,

A scrabbling screaming child is loose above stairs,

Whistling a long lost song to the same old tune,

Wild hands pull on the skirts of the house.

There is a rattling and scratching at the windows,

Cold fingers push in the howling night into every crevice,

Eyes are rubbed sore, in shuddering sleep,

It is morning, and all is well, but it might not have been.

 

In a low field, for they all lie low, the calf is still,

The tin roof is off the barn, the seal pup waits on the shore,

Flattened oats carpet the fields, grey geese are fastened to the land,

One more Peedie house falls into a churning sea,

She rocks and rustles in her Orkney chair,

The chimney smokes, the last Elm isd own,

There are too few trees to lose even one, too late,

It is morning, all is not well, but it might have been.

 

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