PART OF THE The Bold and the Brave ISSUE

‘Yesterday he joined me, bouncing in, as I readied myself for escape, his small hand in mine’

From Edinburgh’s Makar Hannah Lavery comes the debut collection Blood Salt Spring, a meditation on where we are that explores nation, race and belonging. With much of the collection written in lockdown, it’s poetry that feels both of the moment while reaching out and attempting to find meaning, to move forward, and find hope. You can read a few poems from the collection on BooksfromScotland below.


Poems taken from Blood Salt Spring
By Hannah Lavery
Published by Polygon


Make a Den

As a child, I would hide under tables with
you. She would throw blankets over to make
a den. We would create anentrance through
a chair

Bring a torch.

I would dare you to bring snacks from the kitchen.
I would remember those half-sister days
when back home without you, that longing for you

A dark blanket. 

As a child, I would hide under the table with you
in the part of your sitting room that was the dining room.
He would throw blankets.

A ground sheet

he found in the shed, leave us there
hidden while he shouted at the horses on
the telly. We would spend all morning
bringing in the essentials.

Make a barricade

to keep the others out. Maybe, we made a sign.
I remember torchlight. Even then I was missing
you. As a child, I would

Hide under the table.


Daily Exercise (And Shopping Online)

I have never gone from couch potato to 5k (except that one autumn) but I walk miles before breakfast. Yesterday he joined me, bouncing in, as I readied myself for escape, his small hand in mine. We were back in time for his online meet. The faces of his class appear in squares (revealing so much). But it was that beach walk I returned to at 3 p.m. when suddenly I started to cry whilst writing a work email, just thestandard, I hope this finds you . . .

I told him as we were walking up the hill out of the estate, that you should spend a part of each day looking up at the sky. When he asked me why, I wasn’t sure how to say for perspective, to tell my child that he is so fleeting.

His sister is doing a science lesson. Protecting the sofa feels too much of an effort, so she carries on reacting and refracting. I think about snoozing but instead spend hours on my phone, grazing like a cow until he calls me in for my tea.

In slippers I watch
the world slipping its moorings
browsing for flour.


Missed Trains


Nae seats, writing this poem
on my knees, wish I could

have chatted for longer but
I really needed to make it hame.

Now, I am crouched on my haunches
thinking of all the things I needed to say.


You’ve been driving home your facts
missing the fact, I’ve missed two
trains and my tea, but the fact remains
I would’ve missed all the
trains to talk more poems wi


Blood Salt Spring by Hannah Lavery is published by Polygon, priced £10.99.

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