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July 15, 2017

I met you only briefly, twice,

perhaps a dozen years ago

beneath the pinnacles of ice

you feared. I wonder, often: did you sow

those seeds you held, into the melted snow?


You stood there slight, but this stood out:

you were a powerhouse of grief;

alone. And certain – way past doubt –

of utter undeception, in whose teeth

you’d lost your grip of comfortable belief.


So deep, so deep, you felt distress,

it stayed unburied, near to hand,

from where you vouched your forthright sense

the gods, with arbitrary spite, had planned

to visit drought upon and scorch your land.


I screwed my eyes against the glare

of highland light which bathed, and drained

all life, from the deserted square;

I wanted nothing, nothing more, right then

than for you to be healed and whole again,


and still, today, I think of you

abandoned – brittle, proud – by grace.

I pray you found a pathway through

the melting snow to reach a burial place

wherein to plant anew; a safer space.


(Published by Pennine Platform, 2016)


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