by Nick Rouse
I can smell the cigarette between her lips,
the wind makes me shiver and I move closer.
Our arms touch at the shoulder and ash drifts on to my knee.
Sheltered by the wall of a ruined church, at the top of a hill, it’s dark, but for the smoking cherry dot.
We sit here where the leylines converge.
Today was the shortest day of the year.
At the bottom of the hill a drum starts to play,
torches sway as they cast light to the beat. Others are sat up here, waiting, talking.
The light from the torches play with her red hair in a way that I wish I could.
Together everyone faces the horizon, looking for longer days
I pass her the bottle, she takes a grimacing swig.
She doesn’t really like red wine, but she finished her cider.
As I put the bottle down she loops her arm in mine,
a fire has been started and everyone is sitting around it. Fire licks and sparks light the gathered faces
The torches are up the hill and the drum beats close,
in robes people praise the north, the south, the east, the west.
The wine and leylines and the power of the moon, the elliptical orbit of the earth and the tilt of its axis
have created a moment without walls. Till the sun’s ray crimsons the horizon
The sun comes up and we come down