The Angry Corrie 9: Sep-Oct 1992

Poetry Corner: Penny for 'em

"Penny for 'em", they said,
These kind Virginians,
But what could they know
Of the scent of cancerous bracken,
Of low down Selfheal, Trefoil and midges singing lazily,
Of the sweat of mica encrusted boot on smooth stone,
Of the bite of pithy rushes,
And higher up, the heather and bilberry waft,
The sweet pull of calf muscles,
These travellers in air conditioned cars,
Would they understand
The rough first grasp of outcrop rock,
The hot-cold of missed footing,
The chill wind on the gained bealach,
In a place where nerve and skill, muscle and brain,
Can only compete with heat stunned traffic,
Will I forget the elation of the found cairn,
Leaping ice-furred out of the mist,
And the joyful hundred yard dash,
"Penny for 'em", they said,
"Home", I said,
And they nod understandingly.

Sarah Juniper

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