Brother and sister watch the estate lawyer
take a cork-backed ruler to the ground plan:
two wings behind a cast iron gate, a barn
raised for the Shetlands. Into the picture
flock grouse, and the furious Vs breed Ws,
while on the French-curved cobbled path
a litter of kittens cascades in a burlap sack.
Brother and sister like stowaways clasp hands
as the horizon lifts and blackens the moor.
Mother in whalebone from her boudoir
warned she’d return every seventeen years
with the locusts. Since they first sat down,
the antique globe on the lawyer’s desk
has not stopped spinning Pacific, Pacific.
This appeared in the September 2012 issue.
Matthew Tierney won the 2013 Trillium Book Award for Poetry for his book Probably Inevitable.