Poem of the North

Fifty years of the Northern Poetry Library

From Canto 3

Moving North

All the signs are gagged, bandaged in snow,
that still spirals down, shrinking the dwindling triangle
on the windscreen. You have to keep going
– the child in the back – to the steep cobbled street
where he clings to your waist, hobbling black ice.
Home spits in your face, sinks you in slush,
slaps down your hopes like a wounded mother
in some cold-blooded myth, testing you.

Until he arrives, flies a red kite, holds your boy’s hand,
holds you, hot in the morning, hooped in a dawning of trust.

The thaw starts. It tests you that he stays, and you stayed.

View poem in Canto