Lindsey Shields Waters
The Robin’s Nest and the Snake
From the kitchen sink, I see you darting
back and forth, thieving, building. Fear
and joy eddy in me. A few years ago
the nest was mangled by the cat
down the street. Echoes, rushes
of mother blackbird lamenting
her fledglings, freshly hatched.
This year, I’m ready. As you
hop assertively up and down
the trellis, chest puffed, invincible
crimson, I lay my son’s red and black
coral snake at the bottom of the bush.
Rubber, tightly coiled, it doesn’t move −
poised. This, I say to my children, or more
to assure myself, is to keep that cat at bay.
Bow Brig in the Skye
The grownd is wette an mudie. I trie nocht to stande on snaw
drappis. Vnder the shalter o the hors chastnut trie − sonne apperis
fra ahind clowdis. A schape in the skye lyk an arche fallen fra
hevin, bot stille togeddar, peakis throch levis.
Quhar dois it starte an quhar dois it ende? Mi hairt exploidis wi
joye − mi stomak knottis. I wante ta ryn ta it, tuicht its texturis,
jumpe ower it, get kyaucht vp in blau, purpill, ȝallow an greyne.
Mi bruder haldis me tycht. Sayis, it’s a signe fra abufe. Luik! It’s
gauen, I ȝell. Quhat do we calle it? Bow Brig in the Skye, replyis
mi bruder, fra heir ta… John o’ Groats! It fadys slawlie. I keip
wacht vntil a that’s lefte ar levis glystring wi rayne drappis.
Lindsey Shields Waters is a Glasgow-based solicitor and poet. Her work appears in a variety of magazines (including Magma, Lighthouse and Gutter) and anthologies. She is currently working on her debut pamphlet.