The Solid Night
I look back at incidents sometimes
like when that snow fell on our heads
outside the Waverley Hotel
and wonder if they ever cross your mind,
and if they do what is it exactly you think?
They’re a mythology to me,
a set of beliefs based on air or dreaming.
I suppose we’re all unreadable,
distant as Sanskrit and all the industry
put into guessing no more than casting bones,
reading cold signs in the sky
as cars or trains bear you away always
into the solid night.
When the girls have gone I think
once that dove has cleared the fence
like a plane on one propeller,
there will be silence and the weather at last to enjoy it
but soon I’m listening to a blackbird crooning
and behind that there are insects
and a stir of breeze in these leaves too
which amounts to the smallest of sounds,
but there’s something else,
a wash of traffic maybe
or pebbles far away in the sea shifting
in their tide of perfect blue,
or is it a small tree growing bark?
Or is it the sound at the very core of the world
that holds unlikely things together,
like glue, or longing?
Copyright © Hugh McMillan 2013
Hugh McMillan lives in Penpont in Dumfries and Galloway and has been published widely.