Karen Macfarlane

Above the plastic-cluttered high tide line
there’s an empty pair of wings. Probably
a kittiwake, with feathers of pearl grey,
ink-dipped and grafted to a stub of spine.

The rest of what made it a kittiwake
is gone: the head and lungs and crying call,
but nothing wants these two wings. What would? All
the world knows that only the birds can make

anything of them. A sudden gust flips
them over, the wind knowing well how to
lift this structure it evolved. They leave two
scoops in the dry sand, symmetrical dips

like those corny angels I made with you
in the snow. At least it’s something to show
for what was left; but even that will blow
away. The wind knows how to shift sand, too.

Karen Macfarlane lives in Perthshire and spends as much time as possible letting Scotland’s coast and islands inspire her. She is studying for a BA (Art & Humanities) with the Open University. Her poetry and non-fiction have appeared in various magazines, including Poetry Scotland and Spelt.