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Picture 13343100, gouache textile design, circa 1950s, by Tanya Atkinson, image copyright Mary Evans / Tanya Atkinson Collection

Gatekeepers
by Rebecca Gethin

 

All summer they’ve kept watch in the sunlight

locking and unlocking the gate to my garden,

bright flames flitting among thistle

and bramble blossom, their black eyes

on wing tips so focussed and fierce.

In the lane between high hedges

sun has energised them.

When rain threatened they hid behind

their wings, tucked in the understorey

like a fading leaf.  With too many dawns

to be loved in one year they’ve relinquished

their stronghold and now the dark hours

drift through the unlocked gate.

 

 

© Rebecca Gethin

Picture 13343100, gouache textile design, circa 1950s, by Tanya Atkinson, image copyright Mary Evans / Tanya Atkinson Collection

 

 

Rebecca Gethin has written six poetry publications. She has been a Hawthornden Fellow and a Poetry School tutor.  Vanishings was published by Palewell Press in 2020 and a chapbook called Fathom was published by Marble in 2021. She was a winner in the first Coast to Coast to Coast pamphlet competition with Messages.  She blogs sporadically at www.rebeccagethin.wordpress.com.

 

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