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That Day

Mary Gilonne

found me lip-reading the sea from my kitchen window,

trying to make out its sprint of gleaming dashes

some sort of illegible morse drifting in from the North. 

 

Usually here, there’s a soundscape of high birds and lapping

coast, never those strange bass organ-chords grinding, a deep

underscore lamenting through the firth. 

 

But then it was the first day, only 24 hours after he’d left. 

 

Light was passing as if through silver-coated plate, changing

my stone-washed walls to shifting shadows. A few people

were frozen negatives on the strand, heads turned darkly seaward. 

 

Then like a castaway on an interrupted journey, an immensity

of lost ice islanded the channel, hung there in a weight of blue,

shut away my sun. Perhaps it was the berg’s aching lines, retraction, 

 

loosening, how it slowly decomposed, perhaps it was the cold

void,                   the way it held its noise within that made me fear. I swear I

saw                     his whiteness loom against the glass, a fist, my indooor sea sinking. 

 

But then it was the first day, only 24 hours after he’d left. 

Mary is a translator living in France but originally from Devon. She has won the Wenlock, Segora, Sentinel,and Wirral prizes,  shortlisted several times for the Bridport, commended or placed in many others. Her work can be read in Magma, Antiphon, Prole, Ekphrastic Review, Clear Poetry, Fenland Review, The Curlew etc. Her pamphlet 'Incidentals' is published by 4WORD Press.