ONE POEM – David Linklater

Photo by Alexander Nachev on Unsplash


Station House

The train leans through
the Highland line, Inverness
to Fearn, wheat either side.
This carriage bows for you.
You are dead. The fields
look especially golden.

Years I took this route.
I thought I might see you
by the station window but never did.
Sometimes it was jarred, a cat
there in the yellow oil of the sun.
But I never saw you.

My timeline is strewn,
I do not know the dates.
Each time I visited home
you may have been losing your hair
in some sterile room; the antithesis of you.
You bald lioness, you withering bird.

And I never did write you that letter
to let you know just what
it meant, that you took the time
to ease and mellow my young folds.
I did not alight until after you
had flown clean from here.

I have taken this thought apart
and only ever come up with this:
no need for Gods or angels,
I remember you without these,
entering the classroom, a new kind of teacher.
You stoic thing, you’re untethered.

A child, I wrote the stories only you
could tow from me. You said
‘Go deeper into the water, I want
to see the world below the lowest point’.

Now the station house is empty.
The fields really do sway their gold today.

David Linklater is a poet from Balintore, Easter Ross. A former potter, he moved to Glasgow in 2012 and has lived there since. His work has appeared in Gutter, Savant-Garde, Glasgow Review of Books and Ink, Sweat & Tears, amongst others. His pamphlet ‘Black Box’ was published with Speculative Books in 2018. He was recently shortlisted for the 2020 Edwin Morgan Award. Twitter @DavidRossLinkla, Website: Scottish Poet | David Linklater Poetry

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