The cold eats in
moans through the slow march –
a solitary line of spent ammunition
Margins stripped wire-thin
rust and stoop a quadrangle of pines
and on downhill to a gate
where mothers and wives waited
for a homecoming
where love waited for dark.
Sun fires a blanket sky above Barkin Moor
re-opens the scar, and for a moment
this wound seeps
hymns, horses brushed in scabious, buttercups
and all the meadowsweet summers
carted steel on stone
over cobbled yards
into dim barns
the first glimmer of stars.
Emptiness is sore
gnaws at these victims
seized by winters longing for new blood
in wild December tracks
when they rise to shiver old fears
along a forgotten border.
Kerry Darbishire grew up in the Lake District and continues to live in a remote area of Cumbria. Since her mentorship with Judy Brown, the poet in residence at the Wordsworth Trust in 2013, her poems have appeared in anthologies, magazines and she has won several competition prizes. Her first full poetry collection, ‘A Lift of Wings’ was published in 2014 by Indigo Dreams Publishing, and her biography ‘Kay’s Ark’ published in September 2016 by Handstand Press. http://www.handstandpress.net She is currently working on a second collection of poems.