Poetry 4

The Runner

rose from the sea at dawn as sun

funnelled across Burrigill Bay.

Her long black hair trailed a seine net

slack from her fisherman’s cap.

In the shadows of the stacks

she bore down on the eastern shore

casting off wrack and bilge water.

Her feet, bloodless as starfish, spiked the shingle.

The life of the sea spilled

from her oilskins. She ran dead

ahead up the hill through meadows

glazed with dew and sheep,

passing the busted creel boat

aslant and hulled with bog myrtle.

Clouds frothed on the horizon

in a herringbone breeze as she ran

to the crest

where an old hen waited by the gate

and one wall of a ruined croft pointed

skywards like a prayer.