Islands are a different country. Something more
Than straits and channels and the sweep of sea
Divides their beaches from the blunted shore.
Some island thing, in moss and grass and tree,
Nursed by the wind and rooted in gray rock,
Stubborn as time and sharp as winter thorn––
And something in the look and step and talk
And touch of men and women, island born.
An absent look. a listening in the eyes.
As if they heard, in blood and flesh and bone,
Between the breakers’ rise and fall and rise
Some word let fall between the sea and stone.
But never ask me what. How should I know?
I was born inland. Half a mile or so.

© Harry Bruce, All Rights Reserved