Morecambe Bay
by Kyle Hemmings


Watch your little sister, said my father,

His eyes reflecting the swoon of black-back gulls

Over the fast rising tides, their mid-morning threat,

The flat stretch of sand and mud and the rich

Cockle beds that we would plunder until

Our heads grew heavy, or dizzy with the flutter of Eiders.

But in the quick of an instant, the tide rose and fell,

The way the world will someday end, the crash and the shatter,

My sister, Mayli, swept into the bogs, her soul into the hollow,

I jumped into Morecambe Bay, and with my eyes closed,

I could see her, and her mother-of-pearl smile that she

Always wore for the photographers: Grandpa and cousin Ming,

but above water and paddling with my eyes open,

I could only imagine a white pearl.

lying at the bottom of the river,

I could only imagine my sister's smile

As peaceful as the reflection of saplings

In motionless water.


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