She lays her head down,
just there on his knee,
and all her hair is
ink spilling into
the crush of
his hands.

Breathing out, their lungs spew silver
into a dawn as cold as virgin eyes.
She goes, a wind over the hills,
and he sits alone in towers
rooted where they stand.
All is as it was, before.

Quasimodo in his prison of gargoyles and grace,
he writes a thousand letters, but none to her.
There has never been a man more literate
with less inclination to pen his feelings.
His friends do not deign to suggest
that things could be different.

And across the miles a woman sighs,
‘plaiting a dark red love-knot into
her long black hair.’ Wonder,
that wicked game, leaves
the wind whispering
inside her bones.

In her ears, the angels sing.
She, who stood holding
fast, frees the doves
and watches them
scatter up into
the clouds.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

Note: This poem is my original work, but was inspired by, and contains a quote from, Alfred Noyes’ ‘The Highwayman’. You can find the full version of his masterpiece at Poetry Foundation here.

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