The Way the Light Falls – a poem by Lynn Woollacott

The Way the Light Falls

As a child in winter, I’d layer on sweaters,
pull socks on my hands and make an igloo –
a snowman for my sentry.
I’d dance with snow drifting from grey skies,
my brothers pelting me with snowballs.
I’d laugh and bombard them back with brilliance.

In spring standing beside hedgerows
spotting yellow-winged brimstone
and tattier-tortoiseshell, I’d be chased
and caught by cowboys, tied to a tree.
While waiting to be rescued
I’d count the fall of a million blossoms.

In summer, lying on bleached sand
I’d watch clouds arrive from over the sea:
white whales, dolphins, turtles – all of
earth’s fauna with light and pureness.
Sometimes my brothers would sneak up
and tip buckets of water over me,
soaked, I’d chase them, dangling live squid.

One autumn, I found a tall ship and oh, those silky
white sails – the billowing and promises
of them. I left my brothers and sailed away.
I might spend days in a crow’s nest
surrounded by winds flapping sails
and albatross up in the blue, gliding on thermals.

On dark nights, in the chill of sea fog,
I steer for diamond dust tumbling
seawards in a halo of moonlight.


Lynn Woollacott grew up with six brothers and three sisters – all older. She had many jobs from sewing buttons on cardigans to working as a lab technician in an all-girls school. She gained a BSc (Hons) with the Open University and went on to teach environmental studies at outdoor centres in Norfolk. Still yearning to write she studied creative writing with the University of East Anglia. Lynn has been widely published and won prizes for poetry, and has published two poetry collections with Indigo Dreams Publishing in 2011 and 2014, and her historical novel is available on Amazon.

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