Tide carved, sand sheared,
shaped in undersea, worn
by unknown currents.
This piece, long-smoothed
to candy dimensions,
a boiled sweet that would never dissolve,
would wear away the gums,
break teeth. Its choke-throat beauty
rattling in the skull.
Or this, sea-sculpted
to mimic a kidney, an opaque organ
for a glass recipient.
Those – rejected. Too much left
of their edges, bladderwrack colours
muddied against the sand.
These – brought home, lined up carefully
to send the shadows of waves
cresting along the shelf.
Penny Blackburn lives in the North East of England. She has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including pieces online in Atrium, Riggwelter and Ink, Sweat & Tears and in print with Poetry Society News, Fragmented Voices and Fly on the Wall. She is on Twitter and Facebook as @penbee8. Her pamphlet “A Taste for Bread” was published by Wild Pressed Books in March 2021.