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On the Edge by Kathryn MacDonald

On the Edge

This morning on the Corran Esplanade

above the cresting tide

a pair of black guillemots sporting

summer plumage perch on the edge

of the crescent sea-walk, their bright

coral feet tucked discreetly

beneath the blackest of feathers.

Only white wing patches keep

them from disappearing into shadows.

I stop to admire these divers –

small circumpolar auks

called tysties by the Scots – and wonder

at their loss already begun

as temperatures soar

in the northern


Kathryn MacDonald has published in literary journals in Canada, the U.S., Ireland, and England, as well as anthologies. Her poem “Duty / Deon” won the Arc Award of Awesomeness (January 2021). “Seduction” was entered in the Freefall Annual Poetry Contest and was published in Freefall (Fall 2020). She is the author of A Breeze You Whisper: Poems, and Calla & Édourd (fiction). For details, please see


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