Saltburn Pier with My Mother
Your feet and my feet on the weathered boards,
your arm in mine. The stick keeps you upright
in the northern breeze, while the salt air uncovers
the woman I once knew. Years and cares blown
from your face as you drink in the view, recall
all the oceans of your life, from Flamborough Head
to the Great Bitter Lakes, from the Bristol Channel
to Cardigan Bay, to both sides of the German Sea.
What you liked was the way it always changed,
that view from the beach of water on the move.
Later, landlocked, you lived like a stranded dolphin,
gasping for breath, unable to help yourself, slowly
collapsing under your own weight.
Jo Colley is a writer, with an interest in the digital presentation of
text, especially poetry. She won the 2013 Read Our Lips Prize for
Dream On, a poetry film and also makes podcasts.
Her latest collection, Bones of Birds was published by Smokestack
in 2015. She was recently poet in residence for the Northern
Poetry Library and teaches Creative Writing at Teesside University. She Tweets @jocolley, and co-blogs in a fascinating way about fashion, culture, femaleness and death at Foxy Fash.