Sea urchins for Sophie – Fiona Cartwright

Sea urchins for Sophie

I carry her exoskeletons
six hundred miles. She says
I don’t mind if they’re smashed
but she doesn’t mean it. I keep them
in a cardboard reliquary, drive them
………………………………………onto the ferry
which rocks them all night
on a rollercoaster sea.
The waves leave me bruised as I fall
against the shower’s plastic
but the urchins are unharmed.
………………………………………At Aberdeen
I haul them to dry land, carry them south
like babies cradled in car seats.
I bring them to her
still in their cardboard coffin,
spiny as our friendship.
……………………………………..When lockdown comes
she stands with her urchins
lined up like blown eggs
at her beached window
and looks out at an ocean of soil
from her museum of the sea.

Fiona Cartwright (Twitter @sciencegirl73) is a poet and conservation scientist. Her poems have appeared in various magazines, including Magma, Mslexia, Under the Radar, Interpreter’s House and Atrium. Her debut pamphlet, Whalelight, was published by Dempsey and Windle in 2019 (Fiona Cartwright).

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