Two nights before Christmas,
we take your camera and go down in darkness to the shore,
to trace the smudge between grey sand and black sea,
to tread the brink with cautious feet.
You set off to capture light –
the flicker of a hundred fingers tripping electricity across the Firth,
a necklace of amber headlights beading from the bridge,
a beacon of flame from the refinery,
while I fall onto a bench on my back,
and face up to the brittle night and bone-bright bites of stars,
small tears in the canopy.
My father taught me how to name them,
stretched on our shed’s roof on fugitive summer nights
his warm steady digit drawing out the lines between
the barren satellites, unravelling their tales.
Now I lean gently into their tilt and spin,
and count, and fail to number,
and close my eyes and wish, and with
the suck of tide, and drifting fuss of gulls
I hear your shutter snap on me –
Copyright © Debbie Cannon 2015
I’m an actor and writer based in Edinburgh, and have been writing poetry for around ten years. I’ve previously had poems published in Northwords Now, and comedy sketches I’ve written have been performed on stage and broadcast on Radio Scotland. Any spare time is spent running after my 11 year old son. I’m on Twitter as @Debsca
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