Northwords Now Issue 37

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Winter untying

by Catharine Eunson

Perhaps we’ll protest, say the ferry isn’t due
yet, when we hear a wooden knock, feel
the neat keel bump against our ropes.
We may become convinced when the timbers
start to float, perceive we overestimated
home, undervalued the persistence of tides.
Maybe the boat will be enormous, us together
lurching in the hold, losing air, who knows?
However bad the crossing is, we’ll all make it.
After you went: when we were the winter sheep,
huddling together with no more knowledge of knots,
just skeins of absence unfurling in the fields;
we would have willed whatever wings you had on
and on. But you had already gone.