Wolfstar archery course is in use
so says the red perspex sign, slung over the gate.
No archers to be seen. Among the trees
targets hold no arrows, only nicks in the worn rings,
scoreboards unchalked. The dog is keen to plunge in
on the trail of deer. I pull her back.
A dead shrew lies on the worn footpath.
What a spot to die or be dropped, dead:
on the prehistoric burial site. At the quarry’s edge.
In Pencraig woods. On this clear day,
views across villages where witches were burned.
The archery course is not in use. Nor the quarry,
nor the graves. Just this path, tracing the ancient heart.
Jay Whittaker lives and works in Edinburgh. She has published two collections with Cinnamon Press, Sweet Anaesthetist (2020) and Wristwatch (Scottish Poetry Book of the Year 2018, Saltire Society Literary Awards). Other credits include the recent Bloodaxe anthology, Staying Human. www.jaywhittaker.uk / @jaywhittapoet