A poem by Vicky Sparrow

Big C little c

Test the cold waters of Common Sense
you old pro
your fingertips touch the image
lilac blue stones beneath the skin
and the reeling fishes
who would dance in the shallows were it not for
the looming bulk above
that’s you
compassionate reflection of your losses
losses for all in this blue
seeping cold in your core
a staircase for the fish
your ribs
your sea coloured flag
the dead

and your strange low voice
strangles out the cool light
now engulfing
you’re a woman in purple
don’t forget
the radiance of those who adore
and the new course you’ll steer her on
this desolate echo
the shifting image beneath your fingers
each word another stone in your pocket
a quiet death for you
how nice to say goodbye?
the noise you made for others’
a slash in your purple dress to finger in front the blue
and the flower crushed underfoot:
under current
it’s more personal, coming from a woman.

Leave them alone – you activist of Law,
our men and women
are ours
divided by nature justly make no mistake justly
harangue and harass
this moving reflection
speaking sense
a brave wrap-around sense that fits anyone
who speaks English
with its natural cadences
with the rise and fall of a language
booting your throat
like a goitre beneath the skin
I hear you calling again desolate
but I can’t tear my eyes from these eyes
who are staring at me
from under water
and between my fingers shiver til they break
and break and break the language the deep

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