The Marsh Barn


Anna Selby

The trees are in the water now and the hawk

is in the oak. I am counting my sorrows.

The bulrushes are Indian incense now,

signals, smoke, wild irises

part now, yellow, three, coot chicks

are in the water, following. The weasel

slipping into the water now. The landlord,

on boxing day, comes drunk

with his gun and his son.

Is this normal?

My companion asks me.

In the night she calls and dies.

A hoopoe. The gate. The fence.

The field is in the water now. The heifer

calving between the waters now.

The lawn.The hawthorns. The hills

now. The grass. The track. The bullock

wading. Geese bump against

the front room. I have been left.

The waiter brings more water now.

The fields. Ducks. Moorhens are at the

door. The cows, stranded. At one, the closest

to me, in age, leaned over the pram

and pulled up his phlegm.

No I say, no, and a cold full breath

reaches across the water

to the window. The house is water now.

The sky. The air. The way

both sides, all water now.





Marsh Barn


Anna Selby


Elephant Press 2020