Stall here and let the world
go past, the way

the world well might
on heather-coloured days like this,

an Assynt autumn crawling
from the West.

Let unfamiliar crofts
approach too fast,

their windows headlamps
trained at you,

then Suliven, prehistoric,
speeding down the one-track road

until that road’s a living stream
of marshland, swamp,

the whole damn sea, then
every town you’ve ever driven through,

thought less of than you should.
Look, here’s your house

your room, your matchbox parents
clinging to the door.

Sit still and grip the wheel,
just don’t look back –

behind, in the next layby,
all you left waits

with the engine running,
still in gear.


Photograph by John Haslam

Helen Mort | Interview
Ellen Bryant Voigt | Interview