It broke her heart standing on the rim
of rock, eyes level with the buzzard hovering
feet above the sheep-cropped green:
the tiny farmhouse falling in on itself;
granite rejoining granite beneath the grass.
The land is cursed. Lightning is drawn to strike
the iron rich soil, & the house is at the heart of it,
melting away into the earth.
Down the other side of the mountain,
all you can see is the sea & then the drop
that makes liquid of your guts,
twisting through the trees
that cling to the hillside, threatening
dark & silence.
He said that she should go up to the house;
cross the stream, the little fields & take a look.
It’s a sheep graveyard, he told her,
they go there to die; the front room floor embedded
with jaw bones & off white wool,
forty years of droppings.
Her boots sink into it as she dreams
of a living house: a fire in the hearth
& glass in the empty-eyed windows,
the slated roof pitched & straight backed,
holding off the wind & rain coming up from the sea.