Northwords Now Issue 37

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Tapping

by Mary Anne Spence

Today I am rekindling the past:
Performing alchemy
On stubborn Scottish soil.

Plainly, your handwriting says
Pink Poppies on an envelope  
As light as gold Godrevy sand.

But to begin, I must recite an
Incantation of sorts: I search for words,
As if rummaging in an untidy kitchen drawer

For exactly the right thing  
And uncover honed, wooden homilies
As smooth as old spoon handles.

For easy peeling
Tap the shell of a hard-boiled egg all over

For easy opening
Tap the lid of a jar with a big spoon

For easy storing
Tap the dry seed head into a small paper bag

Now, one year after your passing
The earth is stoked.
I tap out sooty seeds as fine as ash

And will them to blaze.