top of page

Yellow Bucket

Emma Haworth

I           Furious wind had tipped it 

                                            upside-down and chucked it 

             to the west of the yard –

                                             where concrete breaks up 

             like ice plates floating in muddy rainwater –

                                             where a dishevelled sun, 

             heaving itself onto the field’s horizon,

                                              refracts the murk.


II          For years, I’ve seen them – 

             all those yellow buckets – 

             measured against treacle skies, 

             rusting handles creaking

             in wobbling hinges:

                                      egg-yolk yellow 

             sat outside the back door

             before school to remind me 

                                     what yellow was. 


III         Normally the beacon of a lighthouse,

              a token of home and family,

              the bucket now sits –

                                                             awry, tipped.


IV          Normally hauled in gale/rain/hail/sun/joy/pain

              to calves or cows bawling in sheds opposite

              by hands that now –

                                                           struggle to open jam jars.


V             I turn the bucket upright, 

                  carry it to the hopper,

                     let the pellets rush 

                      down the chute 

                           like coins

                            down a 


VI           I worry how many more times

               my father can lift the bucket

               to make that journey.

Emma Haworth is a writer and content editor/page designer from Lancashire, UK. She recently completed her Creative Writing MA at Lancaster University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lucent Dreaming, Popshot Quarterly, Crow & Cross Keys and as part of Portico Library’s ‘Rewriting the North’. She is currently working on her first novel. 

bottom of page