in february after a week
at the library, which is oddly submarine,
you make your way to water

at last after passing houses
with overflowing gardens
after ducking into a half-hidden path
and turning at the sign behind the pampas grass
to walk a short way into sudden woods

and pause,
under the wet dark shapes of firs,
bare arbutus, bristling holly,
under tall tales loud with wind and snow,
you are the child listening at the stairs
when a stranger come to visit tells his wild story.

You look down the dripping
wooden steps to battered sand,
to the unmistakable  hwaet!

you descend to see stripped trees,
bleached wood, smashed crabs,
hear squish of flattened bladderwrack,
taste syllables of salt, of sleet, of foam,
speak shout sing seek out sally’s unsold shells,
smell kelp green or bottle brown torn from down deep
heaped debris even high by the spray-paint psychedelic
octopus on concrete where the stairs meet the beach!

or perhaps you only meet reality
remember three kids at a picture frame
and wish with all your heart to be a pevensie

Hollydene (Draft)

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