Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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This Is Not A Beach

by Gail Brown

This is not a beach,
It is where over the dunes and across the road, my Mother grew.
That is not a field,
It is where my Grandfather tended to cattle with one arm.
That is not a path,
It is where the beach leads to the village.
That is not a wall,
It is where my Mother made porridge from childhood dreams.
That is not a cottage,
It is where husbands and wives and siblings and pet lambs lived.
That road is not a road,
It was the route I took when I was young once, and in love.
That track is not a track,
It is where my Father taught me to drive where planes flew.
That barn is not a barn,
It is the place we danced on summer nights.
Those are not just trees,
That is The Planting.
That is not a house,
That is where I split my chin dressed up in hats and too-big shoes.
That sound is not the sea,
It is the murmur of all of this.
That beach is not a beach and that road is not a road and that house is not a house.

The Board and Editor of Northwords Now acknowledge support from Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
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