Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
Sgrìobhadh ùr à Alba agus an Àird a Tuath

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Embers of Flowers

by Em Strang

In December, when he died, she got old –
she stuffed her blood and breath inside his heart.
The embers of her fire turned black and cold.

You could hear it in her voice, the blasted hole
that grew inside her throat in early March.
It’s true that when he died, she got old.

You knew she’d tried to muster self-control
by the brittle, chatty comments at the start,
but the embers of her fire grew black and cold.

On visits, she would show up bright and bold,
but her skin and teeth and bones all fell apart.
It’s true that when he died, she got old.

A thousand hungry stories left untold,
lined up in her chest like blades of grass,
as the embers of her fire grew black and cold.

You could buy her yellow freesias, marigolds,
still she never learnt that nothing lasts.
In December, when he died, she got old
and the embers of her fire grew black and cold.

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