Fiona Sampson

The Line

White trunks divide the dark

beside the line
and in the dusk trees pause

since if they do not move they cannot
see themselves
or know this moment has to end

that stretches out beside the line
as held breath
prolongs itself by holding still

because we do not want the day
to end because
to stay like this brings the dusk close

to us as we are close touching
not touching
together in the long dark.

Fiona Sampson is an international prize-winning and critically acclaimed poet, literary biographer and writer on place. She has been published in thirty-seven languages. Her most recent poetry collection, Come Down (2020), received two major European prizes – the Naim Frasheri Laureateship 2019 and the European Lyric Atlas Prize 2020 – and was Wales Poetry Book of the Year 2021.

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