The Thread

The Thread
Jamie made his landing in the world
so hard he ploughed straight back into the earth.
They caught him by the thread of his one breath
and pulled him up. They don’t know how it held.
And so today I thank what higher will
brought us to here, to you and me and Russ,
the great twin-engined swaying wingspan of us
roaring down the back of Kirrie Hill

and your two-year-old lungs somehow out-revving
every engine in the universe.
All that trouble just to turn up dead
was all I thought that long week. Now the thread
is holding all of us: look at our tiny house,
son, the white dot of your mother waving.
Don Paterson

from Landing Light (London: Faber, 2003)

Reproduced by permission of the publisher.
Don Paterson

Since the appearance of his first collection in 1993, Don Paterson has emerged a major poet, as well as an important anthologist, editor and critic.

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