r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: Taboo

Taboo

You want to look on the lea-side
in winter, the swamp thickening
like the uterine wall,
popping its puffballs
and creaming its butterwort,
folding in the sundew and squill,
putting out the eyebrights.

You ask what they do
for accommodation –
try high pools
in the red hills
of winter,
hind-paws slapping up flares
of red rain –
look for their niche
of collapsing peat.

Pilgrims of such
an ascetic order
don’t even own
the spectral colours
of snow.

No, that’s the white flag
at Amen Corner.

That’s your heart going
nineteen-
to-the-dozen.

That’s just the cold water
stilling itself
in the form
of your throat.


Jen Hadfield, published in Edinburgh Review, 133

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