The Peat Banks
Walking home, the hauls of peat make glimmer
on the burn. Underside of ground collects
the loosened light of simmer dim, the slim
profits of dusk. Sun-pursed dry earth makes flecks
on water forged in fragile replica. Pared
back from sunken ground, the peat achieves
the paler murk of land, bestowed to bare
the slow mint of evening in each cleave.
I hold a small, damp coin within my palm.
Pressed thick with filth, I scour it with thumb
Swelled up in its etchings, its rutted balm
Of words stacked up by touch. Its sheen long-numbed,
My dim totem sullies the walk home,
Distant from the gold stored wanton in the gloam.
Simmer dim – The all-night dusk that occurs in midsummer in Shetland
Ruth Mainland is a poet from Shetland, living in Edinburgh.