Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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Bog Cotton

by Angus Martin

The damp hollow where bog cotton blooms
in summer between cliff and road
we’ve been there and nothing happened, still
the place sticks in my mind like mud

that you take home in your boot
and it hardens in the gaps of the sole
and breaks out in such innocuous forms
that you don’t mind handling it, and all

the bits add up to a broken memory
like the hollow of the hill where nothing
ever happens but a bird peeping
from a heathered knoll and bog cotton nodding.

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