Footsteps in the snow

A thin layer of snow
greets the first light
of the winter morning
dawning late in pink hues

A line of footsteps lead
from the blackhouse
down the slope
and to the water

A swirl of smoke
writes in the pale
northern sky
telling a story

For no footsteps
have yet returned
for several days
the sea has been empty

A stack of peat
dwindling over months
more carried to the fire
as it softly crackles its tale

Over the hilltop
the smoke drifts
looking down the sealoch
where no movement is seen

Only some driftwood
out by the headland
nothing on the slow swell
is that a sail in the water?

None knows what befell
the boat at the headland
except the fire glowing dully
and the smoke

Gently drifting
over the scene of loss
A wreath

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