At the supermarket's meat counter,
they sell ropes. Yellow and blue. Things
we need when weather turns bad.
One could never be sure when the boat
needs tying off to a cleat.
At checkout, we talk of hurricane Ursula.
It was in the news, it is now by the docks.
My bottled green sea is resting on shelves.
Across the isle, a woman looks out.
Trains deliver milk and morning newspapers;
at the end of his shift, a night watchman
lights a cigarette watching umbrellas running
to shelter. He has nowhere else. His children
sent him a blank telegram. Monochrome winds,
he thinks. Time to repair, to build.
The house he was born in no longer exists.
© Maria Stadnicka 2021
From Somnia (2020) published by the Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, edited by Alec Newman. Cover image - artwork © Mark Mawer
The book is available here and here.