Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 103: Windy Gyle, Roxburghshire

The Cheviot Border Ridge

Start in the National Park at Alwinton. You can’t miss the signs.
The path is clearly marked and well-maintained
all along Clennell Street, an ancient route
for cattle to market. It’s an easy walk
up to the border fence. You’ll see the stile.

You land on springy peat lapped around rocks. The air
carries the smell of heather. A cairn like a castle
celebrates Windy Gyle. Here

the sky expands with larks, the land
opens below, it’s the view drovers and rievers saw
new country, old kingdom, spread as far
as sight. In the horizon’s haze
floats Roman Trimontium
the three hills of Melrose.

 

Sarah Wilkinson

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