Late in the day, my daughter kneels and builds
towers of pebbles, bone-white vertebrae.
She is cast in shadow; behind her, fine sea spray
shatters the sun, and prisms clash and spill.
Along the shore, my son turns back and shields
his eyes and calls me from scattered reverie
to explore the feathers he has found, and whether he
might keep them, and paint the wonder they conceal.
What is this tensile vigilance that quivers,
holding the moment like a drop of mercury?
What is the gift that gathering things can give us
that brings us to such sweet, deep intimacy?
In feathers, stones or words, we make a sense;
an architecture insisting on our presence.
Copyright © Jen Emery 2018
Jen Emery grew up in Leith and lives in London. Her publication credits include Brittle Star and Three Drops from a Cauldron She has a day job in the City.