Sand and storm protected, then revealed
this clutch of homes, so distant from us,
a settlement where tern and bonxie
are more at home than hens and sheep,
where seal and limpet matter more than kye.
Once their dead were among them, in safe places.
Owl and otter lived in the kists after,
and now strangers walk over the dunes,
to peer at cold stones through glass.
After the funeral they come to the green,
four young men and the widow. They stand
a while, talking softly, then go, leaving
the wreaths and the photos, and the things
he’ll need, or he’ll miss where he’s gone –
a Guinness candle, a long bright can of beer,
a plastic-covered Tesco’s apple pie.
Elizabeth Rimmer has been based in the Forth Valley since 1982. Her first full collection, Wherever We Live Now, was published in 2011 by Red Squirrel Press, who will also bring out her second, The Territory of Rain in September 2015.