from Ultrasound (i)

Kathleen Jamie

                    (for Duncan)

Oh whistle and I’ll come to ye,
my lad, my wee shilpit ghost
summonsed from tomorrow.

Second sight,
a seer’s mothy flicker,
an inner sprite:

this is what I see
with eyes closed;
a keek-aboot among secrets.

If Pandora
could have scanned
her dark box,

and kept it locked—
this ghoul’s skull, punched eyes
is tiny Hope’s,

hauled silver-quick
in a net of sound,
then, for pity’s sake, lowered.

More by Kathleen Jamie

The Wishing Tree

I stand neither in the wilderness
nor fairyland

but in the fold
of a green hill

the tilt from one parish
into another.

To look at me
through a smirr of rain

is to taste the iron
in your own blood

because I hoard
the common currency

of longing: each wish
each secret assignation.

My limbs lift, scabbed
with greenish coins

I draw into my slow wood
fleur-de-lys, the enthroned Brittania.

Behind me, the land
reaches toward the Atlantic.

And though I’m poisoned
choking on the small change

of human hope,
daily beaten into me

look: I am still alive—
in fact, in bud.