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On Eriskay

She met me at the fence. A kelpie
who'd stayed too long in this horse form,
she mouthed the sugar on my palm,
and when I slapped her barrel flank
the goose moor stiffened with a sea
perfume. Gulls gathered on the stoop.

What a way to be seen out: confused
among the pearlwort and the fallow.
Her beach songs, like the recalled taste
of bucket milk, inched from her tongue.
Dusk grew behind the house. I watched
her drink the moon from a moon-filled trough.

Niall Campbell

First Nights
Princeton University Press

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