This poem is taken from Stand 223, 17(3) September - November 2019.

Paul Hetherington Poem
Great Wave

Hokusai’s wave washes. The fishermen, the curling claws, the long vista. My body is water, thought dissolving, feelings running. A girl looks back from an avenue in old Dresden. Birds chorus my thoughts, as if they’re now at large. Someone doffs a black hat and I search for my time among wailing sirens. I’m holding a woman’s head and she’s speaking rapidly in a language I don’t know well, admonishing the future. The image and language repeat, like a nodding doll; or like ruffles falling forwards on waves. I’m holding a man’s hand in a hospital room and his breathing rasps, abrading consciousness. He can no longer hear me, as time washes him away, jostling my grasp. Water is everywhere.

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