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Severn Estuary

Caught by the tide


Helen Scadding

Under the bridge are the Welsh Grounds,
shadows below the surface,
mud, sand, and scree rising up at low tide
as though just born.

From Black Rock the last fishermen
wade out into chuckling water,
stroking the shoulders
of Lady Bench and Gruggy.

They set down lave nets
cowering for a catch
in river spaces they have named
Grandstand, Nesters Rock, Lighthouse Vear.

We wait on the edge,
longing to be on that half-seen land
that arches up, black-backed,
then disappears, unvisited.

Bridge lights spangle on the water,
cars thunder overhead.
You kiss me gently, brackish,
like the incoming tide.

Helen Scadding is UK poet living in South Devon. Her debut pamphlet, Sand on the Stairs was published by Grey Hen Press in Oct 2023. Recent poems are published in Unearthing Dartmoor and Literary mama and Green Ink. Find more of her work here:

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