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Haworth Hodgkinson

Haworth Hodgkinson

Poetry 2007–2017

Poetry 2001–2006

Poetry 1996–2000

Poetry 1982–1995

© Haworth Hodgkinson 2006–2017

A Broch Christmas Eve

Haworth Hodgkinson


And so it came to pass at sunset
that a pregnant moon burst from the sea,
swelling and throbbing
with the fading of the day,
casting an arc across the eastern sky
and settling itself to mark its chosen spot
as a young couple in a camper van
drew into the Co-op car park
because there was no room at Tesco's.

The quine's belly, round as the pulsing moon,
carried the agonies of hunger,
forty weeks of beans on toast,
whilst the loon, all innocent, was on the lookout
for something special to get her
with his last giro of the year.

She dreamt of wide men from the Midlands
who might bring a bit of sparkle to her life,
gold and jewellery or perfumed incense
or a bit of the funny stuff that eased her pain
but always left her wanting more.

The loon, scanning the shelves
for an appropriate gift,
spotted a face he recognised
between the aisles
and his heart took an extra beat.

No-one had warned him
this red-haired courier from the Highlands
was back in town,
the one who'd been hanging around
rather too much for his liking
back when his quine's bleeding had stopped.

Instinct set on retribution, he gave chase,
pursuing the red-head out of the store
and through the town,
across derelict land
to the cliffs by the lighthouse
before losing the trail to the skies.

Back in the van, the quine felt
her pain shifting downwards
and shouted aloud for relief.
The moon, bright and bulging,
spotted lines of traffic on the A90
and beckoned them for help.

Shepherds came in their 4x4s
but they were heading for Tesco's.
All that remained in the Co-op car park
was the camper van
and a dark and solitary delivery truck.

A bell in the town struck six times
and the lights in the store went out.
Rough singing carried on the wind
from a street across town
before fading to silence.

And so it came to pass
as clouds drifted up the coast
and wiped away the straining moon
that the good folk of Fraserburgh
could have witnessed a miracle
but didn't.


Written 2007
Revised 2008

Published in Spirit of the Deveron, 2008
(Blue Salt Publishing)
and in Tractor Bastard, 2012
(Malfranteaux Concepts)

Tractor Bastard Spirit of the Deveron

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