This is a longhouse, a hut
knee-deep in damp, a runnel
separating bairns from cows.
It is made of found stones,
the first turf roof replaced
by red-painted corrugated iron.
There is not much inside,
the cluttered mantel holds the clock
and three prized flowery plates.
The cooking happens on the fire,
the bed in the recess sleeps three,
but there’s a parlour kept decent
for the minister, the laird, a coffin.
But this is home, because
the flecked and rippled chestnut spars
that roof the byre shine red like light
filtered through closed eyelids,
because the blackened pot
always steaming on the hob
simmers to the stirrer’s pulse.
from The Territory of Rain (Red Squirrel Press, 2016)
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