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Published: 29 Nov 2022

Wild Moment: Mandy Haggith

Assynt author Mandy Haggith shares her poem about a women’s stalking outing on Quinag.

For Leonie, Romany, Becks and Becs

Our eyes stroked the mountain,
lice-combing its pelt
for the almost invisible animals
lurking among threads of February bracken,
weary heather, tireless stones.

We scuttled between knolls,
crept up onto bluffs to peer,
intimate as ticks,
willing the hill to carry us home
bitten in, hidden.

Chuckling in deer-grass whispers
we sought monarchs and hinds,
found them resting behind a rainbow,
lounging on moss cushions
sipping lichen-cup burnwater
looking at us, laughing.

It’s not about a kill.
It’s not about a trophy.
It’s not about a skin.
It’s not about the hunt.
It’s not even about sight. 

While we stalked closer, crouched, 
binoculars trained, pretending to be undetected,
two ravens drew a circle overhead,
their arrows pointing us out,
calling ‘Fàilte a’ pheathraichean’
just in case anyone hadn’t noticed us yet.

(c) Mandy Haggith

Hillside - David Lintern

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