Poem

Ruth Beddow

Love on the firth 
 
A Scotrail carriage pants into Inverkeithing.  
 
Name unravels along a vacant platform
bridges black water in heaps of grit, snow, grit, snow.
 
Granite outcrops like eider nests clarify
to human houses, as tired tracks screech, harbour lights blink
beneath a murmuration of domestic planes.
 
Ecologists say in a few years, those ducks
could outweigh people. Gulp every rope-grown mussel
before they reach the city’s plates.
 
And that sparse graveyard, those isolate lovers 
emerging from the station doors
affirm a slow decline of two-legged bodies:
 
he in football shorts and a fleece;     
she in stilettos and white skinny jeans.
Hands budding like crocus shoots around her naked waist
 
as ice wind asks the shape of love 
in the middle of an estuary.





Ruth is a local government officer who writes poems on the bus. Her work has recently featured in places like Ink, Sweat and Tears and Wild Court. She was shortlisted for the New Poets Prize, Plough Prize and Teignmouth Prize in 2021. Twitter: @ruthbeddow.