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Superficial deposits (8.4.20)

The Geologist’s wife loved the feel
of warm stone on her bare skin,
the sense of melting into bedrock, becoming
part of a landscape where she strokes
the bell-shaped buds of heath heather
with her fingertips, releases
the smell of honey.

That year before the war they walked together
up the valley towards the edge of the Long Mynd,
stopped to pause at hill streams – fractures
in the ground like shrines, fringed
with ferns and moss that, when pressed
yield first, then spring back. Upstream
the pale race of water – White Spout –
forms a crashing screen, and the geologist
reaches out to help his wife over the slip
of Uriconian rocks, as she is doused
wet with spray, ready to rest on warm stone
where the patterns of her hair are contour lines.

Filed under: NaPo 2020, Poetry

About the Author

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Sarah-Jane is an educator at Hereford College of Arts and a postgraduate researcher at Birmingham City University. Her poetry can be read in various journals, including the Muddy River Poetry Review, the Wales Haiku Journal, The Inflectionist Review and Black Bough Poetry's Deep Time Two Anthology. She was shortlisted for the Haiku Foundation's Touchstone Award in April 2020.

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