60° North

Maxine Rose Munro

60° North, but with a gulf stream
that warms like a peat fire – both local specialties.
Anywhere else on that latitude, we would be
living like Eskimos, fishing through bore holes
and catching whales for our tea.
We do not need to snuggle in furs
or wait till spring to start a stopped car.
Instead we live in a land of legless sheep
that float bizarrely through knee-high clouds,
soaring birds, squalling birds, lots of birds,
flowers that love the damp and all things soggy,,
and horizons as close as your nose.
60° North, for us a meaty broth
that lines our metaphorical stomachs,
a tangible truth wrapped in smug conceit.
In this line around the world we are Unique.
I have never seen the merrie dancers, or an otter,
or the mareel on the ocean’s waves.
My life has been altogether prosaic,
but my people are a miracle of nature.

Poetry Atlas has other poems about Shetland.


First published in Northwords Now.

Main Location:

Shetland Islands, UK

The Shetland Islands

Creative Commons image by Ronnie Robertson