Sphagnum Moss
Sphagnum moss remembers. It recalls
the touchdown of each lark that tumbles
down upon its surface, the slightness of that weight
recorded in the tendrils of each stem. It anticipates
the appetites of flock which graze
upon that wasteland when the rare haze
of summer-heat crisps heather.
The constant tide and toll of weather.
Snow concealing peat and turf like surf,
rolling in with weight of dark clouds curving
around the bleak horizon. The persistent smidge of rain
blurring the land’s muted shades year upon damp year again.

And, too, the heavy trudge of boots
which used to stamp upon it in pursuit
of sheep or cattle. Or else stumbling back
homewards just before the black
of night consumed the borders of a bog
stretching wide before soles, the perils of a loch,
perhaps, where a neighbour drowned. Sphagnum moss,
above all, stores the footsteps of those who are now lost,
those residents and denizens of moor
for whom moss feels an absence, their drum of feet
no longer pounding desolation like a heartbeat any more.