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Poems of Rowena M Love
Killiecrankie


The annual battle has begun:
Blood drenching the trees
With Jacobite wounds.

Winter advances unimpeded;
October has no Farquhar MacRae
To buy it time.

Like weary troops, the leaves drop.
Already, twigs show through
A dwindling canopy:
Dead insects caught in a resin of amber foliage.

The looting rain steals colour
From the fallen,
Leaving only traces of gun-metal grey
And the dark lustreless brown
Of old gore.

But in a hollow,
The ghostly fingerprint
Of a spider's web drowned in dew
Gives shimmering evidence
That the woodland lives on.

Reinforcements will arrive
With Spring in their step.

Note: Farquhar MacRae was the Jacobitesí lone sniper who hindered the advance of the Williamite army under General Hugh MacKay.

Published by Poetry Scotland Hairst 99 Issue, October 99
© 1999, Rowena M Love


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