Northwords Now Issue 34

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Lapwing Central

by Leonie Charlton

Between Balevullin and Balinoe, by shallow ponds and fallen stones, lapwings lift into the air, taking me with them on each beatific beat, scooping me clean with rounded wings, giggling me silly with rubber-soled squeaks, taking my breath away with somersaults and spins ’til I’m high, high amongst the torn clouds, amongst falling feathers, catching their drift and kinks ’til I’m down on all fours by the lying-down standing stone, palms pressed against the close-cropped turf, fingers pointing to feathers lying askance, each one glanced by lines splitting loam-brown from sea-spray white, each one folding my vertebrae bit by bit ’til my eyes are level with the daisies and buttercups and tiny balls of sheep dung, and then I’m spooning with the stone, pressing my rounded back into its lichen-lipped embrace, breathing in the lanolin-and-clover scent of summer at its zenith and feeling as ready as I ever will for the 18:55 Calmac to take me away.