Fastness

Fastness
Across the isthmus
and the broken neck of dykes
we leave the low boasts
of cattle, the sight
of dry fields combed flat
to baize.
Here, in this fastness
light and oceans blaze,
tides collide,
heathers swell like the sea,
and there are sounds
on the edge of hearing;
gulls like old regrets,
the soft wash of water
like a mother’s breath.
On the foghorn steps
you stop to rest.
You are full, luscious,
and this, more then ever,
seems the place for us,
not just because eveything born here
seems blessed,
but because we need the extraordinary
now, to forgive, to forget.
Hugh McMillan

from Northwords 27, 2002

Reproduced by permission of the author.
Hugh McMillan

Hugh McMillan, from Penpont in south-west Scotland, is a poet whose work often focuses on the culture and history of his home region of Dumfries and Galloway. 

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