Northwords Now Issue 34

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Upkeep

by Graham Turner

See for yourself – contingency
at each man's door here
takes the form of boats:

to each his ark, his Ararat,
a landing safe above the tides
and culls of centuries

but standing ready for the call,
maintained as chronicle, a hold
on entropy, in preparation

for the better flood to come.
That first spring, I had no idea
what marked the day to turn his boat –

not forty nights but certainly
a week of rain pulsed down the burn
like blood returning to the heart;

such sunlight glints as showed sang
up the way from earth, from loosestrife,
marigold and gorse – he felt it

right, and so it was, to roll the hull
in readiness for this year's light;
to do what will be done.