The Manhattan Review
The Manhattan Review
Established 1980

Archive > Vol. 11 no. 2


Robin Fulton

By the Ely Road


Night between Longbeach and Waterbeach.
Headlights on the A10 — bulge after
bulge of brightness on blind and ceiling.

Lights like manic pilgrims who can’t stop
who can’t escape from their present tense;
their saints’ bones are neither north nor south.

In an absence of mountains, small roots
are the miracles that bear the world:
wheat-fields and houses balance on them.

And those blunt stone naves we overload
with our souls, they will always take more
and refuse to sink. Their buoyancy

seems dependable out on fenland
that’s never still, as waters, half-held
half-free, almost flow or rise or fall.