Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 43: Wood of Cree


The starlings lean
like woodsmoke on the fields,
and blow away.

Bedded in leaves the Wood of Cree
aches in the gale
and sleepwalks into winter.

Rain maps the hills.
Our roaming thoughts
drain down to silt.

Your house is filled with hollow coats.
The mice climb in the walls,
familiar ghosts.

The starlings start to tilt,
they make an end, pull out their stitches,
fold, descend.

Jean Atkin

(First published in ‘Not Lost Since Last Time’, Oversteps Books, 2013)

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