Northwords Now Issue 37

The FREE literary magazine of the North


by Greg Michaelson

We walk along the beach at Golspie,
young Finn and I.
Finn is flying my ladybird kite,
a fiftieth birthday present.

The wind drops.
The kite drops.

Finn rescues the kite from the waves.
I reel up the string
and wrap it in the sails,
and cram the kite
into the orange draw-string nylon bag.

We head back down the beach,
gathering limpet shells with holes
into my green woolly hat.
Finn scours the strand,
whooping with each new find.
On a table in the front bedroom,
of our main door tenement flat,
I array the shells in order,
from largest to smallest,
and string them
onto a length of leather cord.

In the museum basement,
in a glass fronted box,
on the left forearm of a man of brass,
is a bracelet:
each bead whittled from sea bleached bone,
in a northern island village of stone
some five thousand year ago.

Who made the bracelet?