Northwords Now Issue 36

The FREE literary magazine of the North

John O Groats Sunday, May Day

by Sharon Gunason

The police cordon tape flaps lightly in the breeze
cheerful blue and white as if to say
Bear with us for a moment and all will be fine again
No one believes it. Even before we know it is a body
a woman’s body found on the wrong side
of the sea-stone divide here on the edge of the world.

The police, the coast guard, even the ferry man focus
on the work at hand, neutral expressions, avoiding the eyes
of those of us who stumbled into this woman’s death.
The ferry man hurries to the boat, schedule to keep he says
his eyes say I’ve seen this before and hoped never
to see it again. Tonight he’ll hold his wife a bit closer
a bit longer and she’ll know not to ask why.