Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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by Seth Crook

Eggs for sale:
beside a farm gate,
beside a daubed sign.
Please Put Your Money in the Box.

Every Thursday I pull up,
select my half a dozen. Large.
Drop in my cash. Exact.

Until there's little room for coins.
Fresh eggs keep arriving,
No money goes.
Metal climbs on metal.

I start a tower of fifty pences.
I bring a cardboard sign,
“Dear crofter, pick up your cash”.
But no pick up.

Eggs keep arriving.
The tower topples.
The board turns soggy,

One morning: I've had enough.
Time to swing the gate;
follow the ruts.

Nothing much.
I pass a fallen byre full of bracken;
outlines of lazy beds,
no sheep, no cattle, a clan
of pert marsh orchids.

Until I reach a ruined croft house.
No car, no council bin, no caravan.
Only a rusty spud spinner,
the reel still hanging.

So I enter, where the door should be,
see small bags lying about.
Inside: more coins and notes.
  "Hey, here's your money."

  "You need to start picking it up, man."
  "Good eggs, but your box is full."
  "Dear Sir/Madam, for many weeks..."

Draw pouches, canvas sacks,
wren-sided farthings,
embossed envelopes from the 1950s,

threepenny bits, sixpences,
Edwardian pennies,
the ageing faces of Queen Victoria.

Northwords Now acknowledges the vital support of Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
ISSN 1750-7928 - Print Design by Gustaf Eriksson - Website by Plexus Media