I say her phrases to myself
in my head
or under the shallows of my breath,
restful shapes moving.
The day and ever. The day and ever.
Base Camp. Horizontal sleet. Two small boys
have raised the steel flag of the 20 terminus:
me and Ross Mudie are going up the Hilltown
for the first time ever on our own.
First the welcoming. Smiles all round. A space
Even when just the other day
/ From Then to Now feels decades away.
/ The name at the back of the mind…
Two days before your death, you wrote / There is not much to report from here.
The ghosts are easy. I can switch them on
/ like a tv soap. Here’s Pa going up the stairs,
/ flip flap,…
/ Glasgow, late September and the city I spoke of
/ in another country …
I would not marry into that house.
/ I couldn’t condemn
/ my unconceived children
/ to their strange bloodline:
/ oddly shaped ears, a mad uncle,…
I knew it as Eden,
/ that lost walled garden,
/ past the green edge
/ of priory and village;
/ and, beyond it, the house,
/ withdrawn, white,
/ one window…
Her watch is posted from the south.
/ Its black box ticks the whole way.
/ The accident happens, the funeral.
/ The flowers fade.
/ Grain in…
Under the gritted lid of winter
/ each ice-puddle’s broken plate
/ cracked to a star. The morning
/ assembling itself into black and white, the…