Collecting Bins at Emily Bronte’s
Collecting the Bins at Emily Bronte’s
‘What is the matter, my little man?’ I asked.
‘There’s Heathcliff and a woman yonder, under t’ nab,’ he blubbered, ‘un’ I darnut pass ’em.'
Long after she’d gone, being reborn
on teapots and table mats - daguerrotyped,
imaged and impressed on Bronte soap,
Bronte fudge, Bronte tea-towels - so fixed forever,
she could stare the lengths of Howarth High Street,
I collected the bins at Emily Bronte’s house.
There were two, placed firmly round the back,
a battered pair besides the iron gate:
rusting, they leaned close together, one taller,
more dented than the other. But lifting the lids,
not once, a sprite of moor’s wind bristling my hair;
not once, a lapwing’s scream, lit nest of bones,
or lightning running like a man. The bins stood
by the Parsonage window, where I set them down
on their stains. But never once, through leaded panes,
a face blank as linen, moor-scapes of winter and wild,
or lost at the edge of the room, a slight girl,
hand on cheek, inclined to write on shadows.