Bridget Khursheed is a poet and geek based in the Borders; a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award recipient, her work is widely published in publications including The Rialto, Southlight, New Writing Scotland, Valve, and Gutter. @khursheb.
Brunswick Road beach
A boat is moored here today.
Lumbering on dry dock trestles
its maze of re-used wood lascared
by fledged gulls in the gravel spoil
preening rain puddles. Half-hearted bike track.
Goods trucks chuckle down
out of sight; spray paint jellyfish.
The sea is contradictory. No salt.
No sand. No children. Only
keep out city council spike-topped railings.
Someone once planted fir trees, put that picnic table in,
people sunning and smoking
when the view was fine and holidays.
I walk past each day to get a sandwich.
Sometimes when the drizzle falls
and the light comes awkward, bright,
and the gulls drive off the piles
left after beachcombed copper wires
you can see. Through the free parking
the tide comes in again, that wishing wind
drifts me back against streetside pine.
Waiting at the red light I watch the men take down the last oak
by the new builds.
They tidy up its sticks and twigs all summer leafy self-conscious
like girls after a dressing up session,
armfuls of foliage awkward toppling.
Above a man on rope tiptoe shapes his way into the curve of
the last branch
lops it delicately in pieces down and drop down
to the waiting handmaids careless of danger with brooms now;
the tarmac must be easy for the filed cars to pass by.
The oak is the shape of an empty clothes hanger as I drive through
French trees by the roundabout
the wind outside is like the sound
of a small town where the planted
pavement hornbeams are kicked and scuffed
and gulls far from the harbour
cry at cars just passing lit with the last sun
beyond the supermarket, a field of cabbages
smells out the bright hoardings advertising
in the glass no plastic bags on
the figure disappearing through the televisions
reflected vehicles yielding amiably
headlights all blown like water
those trees that are always somewhere else
that’s the wind tonight
a very slight pollarded suggestion
of a fertile place to end