In the first days of lockdown

At the edge of the tilled field
two hares draw an arc towards the riverbank
where long luxurious tongues of wild garlic
are coated with thick frost.
I can’t smell or taste a thing.

I pledge myself to this field
to the spray of yellowhammers
taking flight as I pass, burnishing the air overhead,
to stout blades of wheat spiking up
not tall enough to ripple in breeze.

When this ends who knows,
where I’ll be, how high the crops,
what creatures run beneath.



Jay Whittaker lives and works in Edinburgh. Her debut poetry collection Wristwatch (Cinnamon Press)  won Poetry Book of the Year in the Saltire Society Literary Awards 2018. Her second collection, Sweet Anaesthetist, is published by Cinnamon in October 2020.  @jaywhittapoet