Now that the thread has caught fire, the hem lies ragged.Now that the pain throbs deep, the vein appears.The vacant sky above, the funneled hours, the whirlingdays, each yanked away to night that follows night.Now that the little lies accrue into the vastincredulity, fear on fear swells: a wave.Slipping down the dune or climbing? Who can tell?The small cries, growing smaller, fly past and vanish.Were they gulls or drowning children –and who was meant to hearand who to act? The spare grass dead beside the carapaceemerging. The shell soon cuts its form into the strandand stays. You despaired, abandoned,but then you saw the cornflower, felledwithin the bramble, the menace in the permanence of sand.
Copyright © 2022 by Susan Stewart.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
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