Breac à linne, slat à coille is fiadh à fìreach – mèirle às nach do ghabh gàidheal riamh nàire. A fish from the river, a staff from the wood and a deer from the mountain – thefts no Gael was ever ashamed of.

http://www.hp.europe.de/kd-europtravel/gaelic/proverb.htm

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THE DEER

by Helen Mort

The deer my mother swears to God we never saw,
the ones who stepped between the trees
on pound-coin coloured hooves,
I brought them up each teatime in the holidays

and they were brighter every time I did;
more supple than the otters that we waited for
at Ullapool, more graceful than the kingfisher
that darned the river south of Rannoch Moor.

Then five years on, in the same house, I rose
for water in the middle of the night and watched
my mother at the window, looking out
to where the forest lapped the garden’s edge.

From where she stood, I saw them stealing
through the pines, and they must have been closer
than before, because I have no memory
of those fish-bone ribs, that ragged fur

their eyes, like hers, that flickered back
towards whatever followed them.

Winner of the Cafe Writers Open Poetry Competition 2009, Norwich

 

http://polyolbion.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/poetry-and-plagiarism.html

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