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9 December 2020

The NS Poem: Mam Tor

A new poem by Ben Wilkinson

By Ben Wilkinson

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

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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.

[see also: NS Poetry: Car Park, Christmas Eve and January 1st]

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This article appears in the 08 Dec 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Christmas special