The Thread

The Thread



Jamie made his landing in the world

so hard he ploughed straight back into the earth.

They caught him by the thread of his one breath

and pulled him up. They don’t know how it held.

And so today I thank what higher will

brought us to here, to you and me and Russ,

the great twin-engined swaying wingspan of us

roaring down the back of Kirrie Hill


and your two-year-old lungs somehow out-revving

every engine in the universe.

All that trouble just to turn up dead

was all I thought that long week. Now the thread

is holding all of us: look at our tiny house,

son, the white dot of your mother waving.



From Landing Light by Don Paterson, published by Faber and Faber, price £12.99.