by Helen Overell

Tumbled walls, the drizzled sheen of scattered
hand-hewn stone, thistles as flame in the hearth,

troubled sky for a roof, the door that kept
outside from straying in, skim-thin imprint –

all those faces and footfalls, outstretched hands,
that ever passed through to bring news indoors,

handfuls of kindling, gleanings of oatmeal,
or else, caught fast in that threshold, sob-tight

under a flock of stars, bairns hugged and held,
rifle-butt stumbled out onto turf track.