Reverse Archaeology at the Glacier

by JLM Morton

Lay out the pitched roof

of your breastbone,

pick at the ice, the hay

that was cut but not baled,

smelling of heat and dust.


The finds of your hands,

ruddy and licked by dogs –

covered with spoils in the snow pit,

the blue jewels of your eyes

watches         ticking.


Inter the parts

for your children to find

when the glacier melts

and snowflakes unfurl,

holding the artefacts –


your riding hat,

its grimy rim

and the velvet

defenceless      fading

at the crown.


Deposit your quietness

–  how you cried only

when necessary.

Sieve a kookaburra’s laugh

in the permafrost trench

with an old gum tree.


JLM Morton is a poet based in rural Gloucestershire in the west of England. Her debut pamphlet Lake 32 is published by Yew Tree Press. In 2021, she is working as poet in residence for the Stroudwater Textile Trust, exploring the role of trade cloth in colonial expansion. Between demands from her kids for high calorie snacks and wrenching another toy from the jaws of the dog, she writes – often while cooking. For more info, see:


%d bloggers like this: