Maxine Rose Munro



Word Child 

The child who has never seen trees
won’t trust words because there’s never
not another, better way to say it.

She thinks word lovers are like over-eager
victorian collectors pinning down butterflies
and beetles in glass coffins.

As if alive could be found in dead things.
As if to capture a thing wouldn’t constrain it.
As if all it was was all that could be seen.

Or mattered.

And those poetic, specific words of her birth tongue –
lönabrak, brimtud, affrug, shoormal –
beautiful fetters that trap the thing.

As if the thing could ever be uttered, as if life
could be told so easily. As if the role of poetry
wasn’t to exquisitely fail

to show us wonders we never can speak of.



Lönabrak – swell & surge breaking on the shore 
Brimtud – sound of breaking on the shore 
Affrug – reflux of waves after having broken on the shore 
Shoormal – high water mark; the water’s edge


Maxine Rose Munro is widely published in print and online, including Ink, Sweat and Tears. She also publishes poetry in her native Shetlandic Scots, some of which can be found in Poetry Scotland and Three Drops from a Cauldron.



Comments are closed.