by David James Ross
It was when they decided to dig up
The floor of their Papay croft house
To install new radiant heating -
No mere luxury in this
Northerly, wind-swept isle -
That they found him lying there
Just as he had been laid to rest,
Arms crossed on his chest,
Underneath his shield.
He had been lying there all along,
Their constant guardian Jarl,
Their own under-floor Viking,
An unsuspected silent witness
To long centuries of habitation,
To the generations’ ebb and flow,
To each current and cross-current.
And now at last they meet up,
As the penannular centuries
Converge, close, and connect.