His Arrival

tamlinHis hair contains the texture of a long
morning in bed. I kneel beside his body,
my hands near his head, his breath already
in time with my world. Blood marks his forehead.
I rub it away, and like anyone’s mother
Smoothing the part, I let my hand linger
on his head, until I hear others near,
the ground shivering with the quick approach,
voices wrapped around the wind like burning
sage filtering through the weave of one’s robe.
I have known this boy or one like him.
The place where he has fallen robs the past
of its birth. My fingertips peel away
skin dying from wounds that no one can see.

–Shaun Perkins

NOTE: This is a poem I wrote in a series of poems about the Scottish legend of Tam Lin. I was re-reading them this morning and thought I’d post one. Thanks for reading.




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