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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.

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