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joanna paterson

along the way

6 American Sentences from July

a pine above the car park first the male and then the female blackbird

cyclists in lycra all along the towpath the scent of cow parsley

late sunlight on the surface of the canal the splash of a swallow

red spots on a yellow leaf beside the bramble flowers, lit by sun

bird seed, pigeons and a pair of jackdaws in Bathgate, Sunday morning

Whitburn Cross roadworks again and again the swoop of a house martin

12 July

misty morning by the war memorial the scent of summer roses

colourless morning the swagger of a jackdaw down the road

outside the office window all day the whine of a chainsaw

all day in the office I touch the petals of an artificial rose

too tired to write the way the light falls on a sleeping cat

dusk under streetlight the rumble of our neighbours’ bins

11 July

4am glow of the numbers on the clock crawling towards morning

supermarket trollies in the rough ground by the stream so much purple loosestrife

out for a sandwich once again this young rabbit watching on the path

the way back from Lidl counting six red spots on the wings of a burnet moth

looking skywards for the hint of a poem the outline of the wings of a gull

slowing down for an unknown bird nothing but the white on black of a magpie

10 July

mist on a cobweb in early July the promise of autumn

soft grey waters of the Clyde the clatter of the gangplank for the morning boat

still waters of the Clyde the wingtips of the cormorants barely skimming the surface

low level cloud the flash of white on the wings of a guillemot

evening crossing the sky over Arran the way the heart swells with gratitude

evening boat the outlines of the hills beyond the mist at the Holy Loch

9 July

down the road for a pint of milk the whiteness of these gulls against the grey sky

soft drizzle on the pavement the bones of a young bird

packing boxes the cat’s watchful eyes from the back of the wardrobe

drizzly morning three women in pink jackets and a red umbrella

rainy July morning the whiteness of the bramble flowers curled round a lampost

wood pigeon in the distance again and again this quiet Sunday