Northwords Now

New writing, fresh from Scotland and the wider North
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May Day Rituals

by Lynn Valentine

No banners, no songs, no queen
being crowned with hedgerow blossoms—
just the cry of a buzzard hunting,
a rash of rabbits in grass.

In my hometown
my sister is knitting before leading prayers
for the dead. My friend is calling everyone
she knows, matching homes to refugees.

Further south there might be Morris dancing,
Maypoles, beer. Here, the bark of a tractor
in a bogged-down yard; the buzzard hunts—
                                              no rabbit spared.

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