in memory of Annie McGill (née Bradley)

Fixed in a Box Brownie’s
ghostly heart your silence soughs
leaves silvering each snap
shot at a front door
closed on three small rooms
housing eleven.
His lime-wood fiddle hanging
near the lintel.

Threshold he crossed nightly
brown brindled hound at heel
calling on cronies
or Hayworth and Hedy Lamarr.
Leaving hearth little left to burn
save foggies you gleaned
on bracken bog
in a white deer moon.

Later your good girls’ slim
factory pay packets
bought the winter coat worn
during vigils kept.
Times with a granddaughter
stock-still by your side
wondering yet what sent you out
to that huckster shed.

Inscrutable camellia face
petalling the fragile earth
as a ribbon of night
twines upland grasses.
Skylark and lapwing
and golden plover nesting
where your silence spooks horses
in the field of shells.