I stay apart from those who melt like flesh
part out at sea, part grounded on the land;
for reasons murky, I must make my stand
against the gales that nag at nakedness.
On watch and braced to take the bitter cure
with slap and whip, encircled, taunted, cold—
I am unmoved, cast in my maker’s mould—
as stern as stone, assaulted, I endure.
Alone, my inner substance is distressed
all iron heats with fire, cools with rain.
Inside I’m like the sea churned up with storm,
no Ibuprofen pills to mask this strain
that leaves no outer mark but inward forms
a molten ball that sears where there is pain.
© 2019 Jessica Taggart Rose
First published in the pamphlet ‘in pursuit of survival’
Jess is a writer and editor whose first poem was printed in her local paper in rural Australia when she was seven. She’s still writing.