THE BALLOONIST LILY COVE'S FEAR OF WATER

'Captain', they said with a sneer, as if

you'd pulled the title from nowhere -

lover, you were the ship and stars to me.

That morning, moon and sun shared 

a white sky, you leaned close, whispered,

 

'Whip your skirt off Lily, show 'em 

your red bloomers.' The crowd was all 

glittering eyes as a band of swallows 

chorused me up, summer shifted heather 

and moor, I sang Whitby Bells to the trees.

 

Love, you never mentioned the reservoir 

lying like a scythe along Scar Top Road,

swallowing church and field for miles

full of black silence and bones,

wanting me for itself.

 

The last strip of dry land was a tar road,

atoms of sand rose to meet me,

air exploded, the wind called out. 

The last thing I saw was lace 

dancing at the edge of water.

First published in July 2017 in the maiden issue of Strix magazine.

 
 
 
Roz Goddard ©2020 

Thanks to Jean Atkin for the glorious Shropshire tree image.