Northwords Now Issue 34

The FREE literary magazine of the North

I might as well be a widow (1900)

by Stephanie Green

I weave horse-hair into a rope,
the strands tight as my lover’s grip
pulling me to his lips.

Born for the crags. Big toes.
Abseiling, he’d lean out
and swing like a pendulum.

On Stac Dhona, the Wicked Stack,
he balanced on that ledge the size
of a thumb with his own thumb.

The impossible leap proved possible.
A legend. But he was snared by tales of taller,
man-made cliffs in a place called Glasgow.

Every day I’m like the fowlers
who play the rope out over
the cliffs bearing the weight of a man.

They talk of a sudden slack,
how they listen for shouts but hearing
none, do not give up at once,

but play out more rope, straining
against the roar of wind and waves
to catch a voice, waiting for a tug.


Six Poems on the Leaving of St Kilda
Euphemia MacCrimmondPoem by Stephanie Green
I might as well be a widow (1900) Poem by Stephanie Green
I tell my husband I am pregnant and he sets out to make a tiny coffin (1891)Poem by Stephanie Green
The Boat Cold Poem by Stephanie Green
The Leaving of St Kilda (1930) Poem by Stephanie Green
Walking on Air in Gannet Slippers Poem by Stephanie Green