Caught by the River

Culzean (for Xanthe Hamilton)

Will Burns | 1st November 2011

A poem by Will Burns.

From the car window the land
looked like it was rusting in patches
either side of the Carrick Forest road –

and us trusting in this scratch
cut fine across the empty terrain.
There had been deceits

of lapwings – dozens of them
tottering out of the sky and down
onto the pasture fields and croftland

back south in Cumbria.
And although we saw
some late corn crop,

the mild October seemed
a million miles away here
where the winter was wearing

its browns in thick muddy clods
of earth and the skeletal shapes of trees
against the sky. Here, in the north.