The Promise

Praying by the sea.

Image Credit: 
Public Domain

Just short of dusk.
Wet spreads across the bay
like a stab wound.
Bone-shaped railings
are waiting to hold it back,
but they too are chipped
and patched. A woman’s hair
lifts a little and settles.

A child goes back
for another stone
she’ll never be able
to run with.

I have seen these wings
scratch the sky like bristles,
the sea peel back,
often. But this time
must be the last before—
when it happens, oh God—
let me first
have trusted that it would.

Professor of Victorian Literature at Cantebury Christ Church University. Publications incllude Accidental Fruit (Worple Press).

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