Memory and Thought
by Jennifer Morag Henderson
Towards the evening, Thought on one shoulder
And Memory weighing on the other
The fire flickers, faces half-shadowed
As the old stories begin to unfold.
Outside the circle, I sit to listen
Hear the wheels of others’ lives set spinning
Roses on the hill, rare, pale pink, thorned stems
And Burnt Njal’s ghost in the dying embers.
Swords and poets’ songs, sad men and women
Others who, like me, are far from their dwelling
Long, complicated, looping histories
The endless nodding genealogies.
I stand, walk shorewards to tell, say in a whisper
To the birds, I am my own chronicler.