The City & The Sea by Sarah Wallis

The City & The Sea

The history of my family is not to make
waves, nor sail them, until my mother
from the Celts, rose to challenge,
a fierce, feminist warrior with sparkling
green eyes, a shield, a legacy,
Pankhurst, Shelley, Wollstonecraft.

I come from small flats with large rooms,
tall ceilings, London bound,
but the Welsh coast calling, contradictions
always, the city and the sea, male choirs
singing Land of Our Fathers,
Bread of Heaven, Abide With Me.

I come from tragedy. A missing heartbeat,

the sound filled up with mackerel housecats,

a gargantuan shell collection, housed

in glass cabinets, the sea sobbing in your ear.


Sarah Wallis is a poet and playwright based in Scotland, UK. Recent work is at Trampset, Lunate and Abridged (Nyx issue) online and in print journals Finished Creatures (Stranger issue) and The Alchemy Spoon (Metal issue). A chapbook, Medusa Retold, is available from @fly_press and she tweets @wordweave.

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