All winter we ran across the moors,
the doors to the peaks blown open
by blizzards or taken clean off their
hinges, like those ancient houses
on gale-torn summits. Winnats Pass
was closed but we skipped the warning
that day-like-night, parked halfway up
its ice-age helter-skelter, stumbled out.
What were we thinking all that long,
long year, barely sensing what was right
up ahead? At the trig point we swore
we saw a figure, hunched and cursing
in the sleet. We trudged back down
as if it were a coffin path, each of us
counting out their own metred feet.
Ben Wilkinson is a poet, lecturer, and critic. His first collection, “Way More Than Luck” (Seren), was highly commended in the Forward Prizes for Poetry. A second collection is due in 2022.
This article appears in the 08 Dec 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Christmas special