Title: Gallows-birds and Graveyards
Author: Hayley Shields
Allocated postcode: EH1
Gallows-birds and Graveyards
On star absent nights,
stood in the car park,
the scalp of St Giles lost
in clouds, my own mind turns
to the dead beneath my feet.
John Knox shelters under bay 23,
sharing his resting place most nights
with the same blue van. God-knows
-Who remains slowly rotting
below me as I tell tales
of dead men. Tales of the damned,
of Resurrectionists and murderers.
Tales of the hanged – their end
marked by brass cobbles nearby.
I shuffle off, watch
tourists spit on a stone
heart for luck, for contempt;
still the bodies sleep
soundly, tucked in tightly
beneath a blanket of tarmac.