The Watcher – Helen Ivory

The Watcher

She walks backwards into the sea;
shingle gives ingress to her feet
before removing any word of her.

At her shoulder a scrappy halfmoon
of grey seals pause their morning hunt
to study this rum spectacle.

Her cotton shift loses a little pigment
day-by-day, so the dark blooms
are an unreadable cloud below the surface.

From the cliffs, you can see her, if you wish it.
And when the wind drops just enough,
seal-song will act like a balm.

Go to her now, she will send back your dead,
salvage your bedazzling treasures.
She can feel you are heartsore.

Helen Ivory is a poet and visual artist.  Her fifth Bloodaxe collection is The Anatomical Venus (2019). She is an editor for IS&T and teaches creative writing online for the UEA/NCW. Her New and Selected will appear from MadHat (US) later this year.  

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