Caught by the River

Glacial: A poem by Kathleen Jamie

1st October 2015

IMG_1456A detail of the front cover of ‘The Bonniest Companie’. Art by Olivia Lomenech Gill

A thousand-foot slog, then a cairn of old stones — hand-shifted labour, and much the same river, shining way below as the Romans came, saw, and soon thought the better of. Too many mountains, too many wanchancy tribes whose habits we wouldn’t much care for (but could probably match), too much grim north, too much faraway snow. Let’s bide here a moment, catching our breath and inhaling the sweet scent of whatever whin-bush is flowering today and see for miles, all the way hence to the lynx’s return, the re-established wolf’s.

Taken from the collection ‘The Bonniest Companie’, published on 8 October by Picador. Available to preorder now in the Caught by the River shop.