Abandoned Farmhouse On Westray

by on August 16, 2020 :: 0 comments

Beyond unchecked nettles,
it sits in a dip. The gable
wall has settled and the
strata of local stone
have begun to buckle.
Smaller stones, honed for
a snug fit, plug chinks.
I focus the lenses on
the two inclining chimney
stacks. Long unmolested
gulls stare back. Beyond
the far gable end, the land
runs down to the sea.

Here lives were lived,
much love made and
many meals prepared
by patient women who
waited for men to arrive
home to stand dripping
and shivering at the hearth
like waifs, wiping streaming
noses on the sleeves of
sweaters knitted through
the long, dark evenings
of a northern winter.
Here fires that burned
all day were banked up
with care last thing to
keep them in all night
while above bodies
exchanged heat.

Was it death or disaster?
Or was it perhaps despair
at a life hard to bear,
there beneath the slates,
behind the stones?

– Glenn Hubbard

editors note:

Stories from stones. – mh clay

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