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We Are But Candy Striped Rock
by Sarah Wallis

We carry what has gone before
tamped right down in the dark, the transplant


seamless into our DNA
like broken seaside towns hanging on to a name


struck through them in old sticks of candy striped
rock and our strata says - look – this terrible


wrenching happened, a howl I heard
from my mother, she from her mother, her mother’s,


mother - grey day reasons for no reasonable
sadness other than feeling the weight of days,


noted, piled up and gone down in the west,
here, we are golden, watching the sun disappear,


the day’s curfew and ours, we pay respects, rituals
we hold for us, for the dead; tears, yellow flowers,


clutching Ophelia’s rosemary-in-remembrance,
monochrome photos, bright spots of memory


and a lit candle to show the way,
                      the eventual way out of the shadow

Sarah Wallis is writer based on the East Coast of Scotland, 2023 works include poem art at Osmosis, podcasting with Eat the Storms and a winning story at The Welkin, new pieces now at Green Ink, RockPaperPoem and Paperboats. A new chapbook Poet Seabird Island is due from Boats Against the Current next year.

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