by Kenneth Stephen
I got up long before the dawn;
opened an unlocked door
into a landscape made of moor and loch.
Twelve years old: the only danger barbed wire fences.
I ran until the hillside turned to sand,
softening the white rim of the island
like a sigh. I chased down all the dunes,
barefooting sand so white it might have been
a kind of snow. Sea breathed
in ledges and descents, in many blues
that melded into one. I dared undress
to tread out deep until I lifted
held and unafraid, breath
caught and stolen by the cold.
I entered another world;
melted into something else.
I came out strange and shining, new
and wandered slowly home, the same
yet never quite the same again.