A Haunting

St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly

The high bracken is full of spirits—its prehistoric

scent takes me home to childhood in Kent,
blackberrying, beating back the sap-filled stems

to reach brambles no one else can be bothered with,

fearing, and longing to see, the deft flick of an adder.

The spirits of that village are here now,

clear as day in the island light that’s half sky,

half water,—Nanny, old Nunc, Mrs Noakes

and Mr Palmer, Mr and Mrs Monk, those girls—

Michelle and Maureen—none living now—
(not as the mainland understands living), but present

in these dense acres of green where I’m lost,

surrounded by sea, not knowing
where I’m going—nor quite where I’ve been.

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