Map by Peter Burrows



Peter Burrows is a librarian in the North West of England. His poems have appeared most recently in Marble Poetry, Northwords Now, Dream Catcher and Coast to Coast to Coast. His poem ‘Tracey Lithgow’ was shortlisted for the inaugural Hedgehog Press 2019 Cupid’s Arrow Poetry Prize and appeared in the Cupid’s Arrow Love Poem Anthology.  




































Smoothing flat a large sheet we plan to trace

your world, annotating and illustrating,

scrunching up, fraying edges, and ageing

in stewed tea before sanding the surface to scratch

a lost map of treasures. Beginning with home

we plot outwards, realising your domain:


the sweet shop, park, Brownies, friends’ houses, as far  

as the eye – school nudging the paper’s edge.

A life contained. Here we rolled you to sleep

beside walls you’d soon be held on calling out to lambs;

here you first triked, biked, sledged, tumbled and fell.

Your cries echoing across this range. That now,    


you populate with trees in leaf, daisies, snowdrops,

blackberries, lambs, and dogs off lead: your days

all seasons in one. Where we follow paths lain

continuously, each walking our own.

Criss-crossing dashed lines, other days, other lives,

past molehills, grass-flattened trails. Above us,


swifts swerve by where high winds and summer scents

cross this hand-poised space, each leaving some impression,

however fleeting, as when you’re here, but not.

The distant playtimes carrying over fields

to where we’d stand unseen, upwind, awhile,

watching the deer return home, your hand in mine,


the bats flying knowingly about our heads.

Bounding forward, you make your way, out of frame

chasing something, only you will find.

Leaving me trailing – until I catch

you, waiting, expertly tightrope walking –

arms out – balancing on the cattle-grid.



Peter Burrows


Map was originally published in Reach 2020 


One for the Road by Peter Burrows

The Wood by Peter Burrows

Sweeping the Sands by Peter Burrows

Spring by Peter Burrows

Three Poems by Peter Burrows