This poem is taken from Stand 222, 17(2) May - June 2019.

Rachel Bower Four Poems
Slippery Stones

Derbyshire, UK

The first stone is unloved,
flat, slimy, submerged green.

The second stone is betrayal,
plunging feet into the riverbed.

The third stone is a blessing,
may the fish tickle your toes.

The fourth stone is loss,
washed away with the current.

The final stone is birth,
breaking bright above the surface.


He is the conductor, heedless of waves, doctors, tests. Grace:
a curled ball uncurling, starfish hands circling. I harvest red
algae, mix with oats and make little loaves of laver bread. His
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