Otters in the Nith

Deep Mapping Dumfries

(i.m. Ron McKechnie)

It was that morning, New Year’s Day,
just before our last conversation,
I saw them, at first mistaking
their playful roiling for a knuckle
of current or a floating branch.
You asked if there was a poem there –
I thought, maybe, thinking of images
of concealment, wildness, natural fit.
But what stayed with me were the questions
of uncertainty of seeing, the dissolution
of shape and movement, and how the mind
settles on what is there, and what is not.

Angus Macmillan

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