Her Familiar Voice (The Crossing, part 2), a poem by S Francis

I will climb until I reach the summit and eyes closed
Hear in the wind her familiar voice singing to me,
Screaming around my soul like a fire un-contained.
I open my eyes to learn the contours of her face.

Pulling everything inwards, I look through a past window
To home. Sitting at the top of the stairwell looking down
In wonder: where to light the fuse? Everything’s changed.
The news an engine still hissing outside on the pavement.

On top of the mountain, I open my eyes and see her face:
The mouth, the eyes, the nose, the cheeks, the unique mark
She makes on this rock. Her voice having stilled my soul
Since before I could name her. How does she sit here now?

She sings to the screaming tornado, stills the swirling
So the soul can speak to whispers loose inside, missed.
I ask the woman sitting with me: who are you, where
Do you come from, how did you arrive here, and why?

Her fingers trace my face, down the aquiline nose, over lips
Longing, to the valley carved between the mountainous chin.
She smiles, her silent song louder than my noise that clammers.
Loose whispers find their fuse, the light in the window, bright.

(C) Stephen Fuller, 2019

Second in a series of poems loosely inspired and derived from the lyrics of Stuart Adamson of Big Country and their debut album The Crossing from 1983. Her Familiar Voice is drawn from the lyrics of “Inwards”. For the upcoming weeks, I will be exploring through thematically linked poems derived from each song on this seminal album of my youth.

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