Nardus stricta

Mat-grass found uprooted on the heath,
too harsh to eat, avoided by the sheep,
take these tufts into your hand,
feel the grass of bairnheid land.

Where wiry stems of mat-grass grow,
bright purple spikelets in two rows
are always pointing just one way,
a finger-hold upon a summer day.

bairnheid: childhood

photograph: Sawmill, Lentran, Inverness-Shire, June / Mat-grass specimen, 1926, from the James Sinclair Herbarium held at RBGE Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh E00803555.