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Estuary

Along the estuary are the remnants of
the iron boats
trapped in the grey silt
reflected in the light
like the bodies of the salmon
that swam upstream.

The estuary transgresses,
it cuts deep into the arteries
while the shy ponies
lie under a pale sky
refusing to be touched.
This is not a pleasant land
it is hacked from cold stone
and to be born in Wales
is to know it is made of bone,
blood stained iron
soaked into the land
so that the earth
between my fingers
smells of mushrooms
horses and blood.

The land remembers.
Its tough grass
celebrates fallen kings
and lost children.

Around the estuary with its
dark shadows
I can almost hear the
whispers, the grieving
to be heard
but it’s only the ragged
crows flying over the edges
of the falling light.

Estuary was inspired by Untitled by Richard Billingham
Patricia Osborne is a teacher and poet. She was born in Wales and now lives in Brighton.

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