Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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37 weeks

by Hana Wilde

We broke in, swung through the low gap, a shower of rust
You riding in my belly, small passenger
Looking for seals.

Grey, soft, still
All noises amplified.

Past the old shed settling,
A Marie Celeste of plastic,
Japanese knotweed growing through the rot.

At the tideline we found perfect shells
small scallops like fingernails, translucent, pink.

And in the confusion of rust and rope
By the shore, a dead thing;
All blubber and muck.

You kicked,
And the seals breathed lazily between
Sea and sky, soft slick of water.

I wondered what they made of us.
I wanted to tell them it wasn’t safe here
The plastic islands
The rot

And then a noise, an upwards rush;
A seal leaping.
From a distance it looked like joy

Northwords Now acknowledges the vital support of Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
ISSN 1750-7928 - Print Design by Gustaf Eriksson - Website by Plexus Media