Dumpty sat for hours listening
to the whispers of swallows in a dingle dangle dusk.
The mist was thick, his thoughts inconsequential.
He sorted the best in the palm of his hand,
and slipped the rest into his waistcoat pocket.
Nothing of the moon was Dumpty’s concern.
Yet, she, too, was no sloven, pulling sea
and earth together towards a dim-lit and lonely heaven
in that dim-lit and lonely night.
Her breath was cold. It lingered in the heather.
Your hair, she murmured, is thinning.
Something within him began to quiver.
His fingers drifted through rock moss and lichen.
Brachythecium velutinum, was asserted,
but the words had no home and the stonework was cooling.
Twice he yelped, Oh Dear!
None would have it he died on the wall,
but he did and he did! just faded away,
again and again. Come as close as
a swallow’s whisper and listen to yourself
hearing these words: Before the fall became the fall,
before the cries and thunder of horses,
Dumpty bloomed crimson, a perfect lily,
as silence became silence deep in the night.
*Previously published in Poetry Salzburg
Scott Elder lives in France. His work has been widely published in the UK and abroad. Publications: Breaking Away (Poetry Salzburg 2015), Part of the Dark (Dempsey&Windle 2017), My Hotel (forthcoming, Salmon Poetry 2023).