In the Mid-Midwinter

In the Mid-Midwinter
‘Tis the year’s midnight, and it is the day’s – from John Donne’s 
'A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy’s Day, being the Shortest Day'.  

At midday on the year’s midnight 
into my mind came 
I saw the new moon late yestreen
wi the auld moon in her airms though, no,  
there is no moon of course,
there’s nothing very much of anything to speak of 
in the sky except a gey dreich greyness
rain-laden over Glasgow and today
there is the very least of even this for us to get
but
the light comes back
the light always comes back
and this begins tomorrow with however many minutes more of sun and serotonin.
Meanwhile
there will be the winter moon for us to love the longest,
fat in the frosty sky among the sharpest stars,
and lines of old songs we can’t remember 
why we know
or when first we heard them 
will aye come back
once in a blue moon to us 
unbidden, 
bless us with their long-travelled light. 
Liz Lochhead
Reproduced by permission of the author.
Liz Lochhead

Appointed Scots Makar – the National Poet for Scotland – from 2011-16, Liz Lochhead is both transgressive and popular; as Anne Varty wrote, ‘her work is that of one woman speaking to many,  and one person speaking for many’.

 

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