At the witching        hour when nocturnal beasts begin to       blink and stir
when stars find their brightness       and weary mothers rock shrieking babes
against their shoulders       from the water I rise       a flash of fin at my calf
a little battered       a little wiser       in my resurrection
I am drawn here by the music        by the boy who sings me home
waiting on the shore beneath       the rusty spears of bulrush
piercing turquoise sky
I will not tell his name       his name is not important
what is essential is that there is        a boy
who cherishes       me
who loves me for my wildness       not restraint
who sees me as       I am        not as he would have me be
he takes my hand        and leads me down the path
this boy        enamoured        of the etched vines on my arm
the mossy sheen       of my leaves
those leaves       no longer dressed in silk       and shame


Lie me down in a hollow        in the sand       on a bed of reeds
where the warmth of the sun is       still cradled
and we will curl       and tumble       in our nest
as the sun melts        as the crickets sing in the grasses
Cup the arch of my foot       in your hand
as the bulrushes dance       as the moon shines silver on our bodies
as our breath intermingles       under the spangled inky velvet of the sky


Yes       I will follow that dark-haired boy
down        through the flailing bunting of the bulrushes
with only the stars       as witness
as the sun turns away        to light another life       to be the beacon
for another      lost soul

Elizabeth Holland


Elizabeth Holland is an Australian writer and poet. She won the Sawmillers Poetry Prize and has been a finalist in a number of poetry and writing competitions. Her poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction have been published in anthologies and online journals. You can find her on Instagram at @emhollandwrites.

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