“Russian Girl in Blue Shawl,” Ivan Kramskoy, 1882, WikiArt.

Scudding clouds of fall marked summer’s
End, soul-restoring warmth upon my face,
Waving-grass secluded granite slabs. Upon
Woolen blanket, I dream-slept of decades
Past, life on these outer Hebridean isles,
Seafaring sister, yearning distant shores.
During summer she visited, happenstance
We met. “These were my stones,” she offered,
Light-hovering, always at arm’s reach.

“Who are you?” I, Willow, whispered in near-
Waking sleep. Head resting upon my arms,
Gentle finger taps roused me, my own hand
Used by furtive presence, missing sea-views
From rocky heights. “During ages past, my
Tribe walked upon these hillsides, stones
Forever present, before, after we death-left.”
I realized, like her, I was time-borrowing
Possessive sunlit warmth, ghostly presence
I would island remain, wandering afterlife.

“Seldom alone, you are,” she confided. “Paths
Winding, you passed through dozens of us,
Slow moving figures lost to cloud and mist.”
Yes, I remembered peat pony Beven’s head-
Shaking whinnies, as if patted on his back.
Sun-eclipsing dark clouds, by chilly breeze,
I awakened, Celtic woman stood before me,
Woven-wool wearing, shells and bones hair
Adoring, eyes dark and deep-set. “Ríonach,”
She stated, fading into opalescent light.

Second poem by this title, Ríonach visits Willow again.
See poem number 1206, sixty poems earlier. Intriguing.
Thanks for reading.

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