“Portrait of a Woman,” Zinaida Serebriakova, 1923, WikiArt.

Overtaken by island loneliness, I’m absorbed
By clouded heights, expanse of seas, stretching
Beyond circling seabirds, past expectations of
What could be if I, Willow, were born someone,
Somewhere else than Outer Hebrides. Such
Aloneness, I ponder sea-soaring birds, wings
Wide-stretched, solitary shearwaters, cloud
Gliding, wave skimming, collapsing headlands,
Guiding shorelines, air currents wind-driven.

Walking staff in hand, I cannot fly, but take
Shepherd’s narrow pathways, amongst rocky
Crags, light-obscuring mists, chilling winds,
Woolen coat, blink-shine of receding October
Sun. How long summer days, long-enduring
Winter nights, we are lantern-wanderers, grass
Frost-white, separation from mainland, cold-
Creeping desolation, broad vastness of seas
Storming prevent island-life escape.

Yes, loneliness whispers to my heart, ponderous
Thread shapes who I am: young woman ages
Different than fair-weather tourists, anxious
For steamer ferries, familiar comforts of Scottish
Mainland. “How do you adjust to desolation,
Stark treeless hills?” they asked. “We possess
Courage bred into our bones,” I replied, kind
Smile, for they did not understand, lonely
Island crofter is who and what I am.

After needed poetry break on Bay of Fundy,
Willow has re-emerged. 
Thanks for reading. 

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