It is a ritual of the borderlands,
we have always been a people
with movable lines, maps drawn over us
like overhead projector sheets.
Some hassled history teacher paraphrases
rivers, towns, mountains. We put on
the old clothes, traditional dress, cossack
coats marked with many ribbons of ink.
We must wrap the patterns tight, take strength
from the grain of our labours, for empires come
here to figure eight years of pressure, knock
off the vinoks from our womenfolk. We step back
draw a lung full of our natural air, run and clear
the flame. Then we’ll teach our sons to do the same.
Glen Wilson lives and works in Portadown, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland. He has been widely published, having work in The Honest Ulsterman, The Irish Literary Review, Iota, Southword, and The Incubator Journal, amongst others. In 2014 Glen won the Poetry Space competition and was shortlisted for the Wasafiri New Writing Prize. He was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2016 and shortlisted in the 2016 Wells Festival of Literature. He is currently working towards his first collection of poetry.
Deep Water Literary Journal
2017 - Issue 1 - February