I thought this would be the last poem I wrote from Scotland; it wasn’t, but thinking it would be put something extra in this one. A prompt involving making a list of mundane daily objects and activities helped kick-start it.
I walk into the village to buy milk and apples.
The sky is slaty, the air dancing with mist.
It’s the first time in three months I don’t need my scarf,
The one the woman in the shop gave me when we
Walked in Old Town after dinner — so I unwind it
And stuff it in my pocket. The dog lags behind,
As he always does. The whole walk — hills, sea,
high street — is a universe he sees with his nose,
And I’m blind to.
The shopkeeper looks over my jacket and boots
For a topic of conversation. There is, as ever, the rain.
He pulls the saucer from under his teacup and pours
Some milk for the dog to lap up. When I’m done
Gathering my oddments, he adds three oranges
From the pyramid he’s arranged on the counter.
Halfway back, I wrap the scarf around a gorse bush
And chase the moonglow on the gravelled road
Home to my empty bedroom.