Coffin Road

Boots and minds pound heavy
up the steep grassy track.

We speak of how many men
it would take to shoulder

grief’s weight, pale with effort
and the thought of body

within box hauled high over stone,
ground and mud. It is hard

enough to drag our unfit selves.
Tired now of death, we talk

of how a newborn’s first breath
divides the open chamber

of a heart; baby blood beating
red into life’s thread. It all

begins with a gasp and ends
in exhale. As we reach

the peak we fill sky, space, time
with silences and chatter.

Laughing flushed and breathless
we lay our burdens down.



Emily Wilkinson is an artist and writer based on the Welsh Borders. Her debut pamphlet Body of Water was published in 2019 by Mark Time Books. Emily’s writing has also been published in Earthlines, Visual Verse and Decorating Dissidence. Instagram @emilywilkinsonstudio