Life at the Water’s Edge | Clare Kirwan


Life at the Water’s Edge
is not as sharp and fast
as a knife edge but,
like a blade the lake
shines flat and deadly.

Water won’t draw blood
but goes about the tranquil business
of claiming lives, the whittling
of families, the shortening of things
much like a knife might
severe damaged limbs.

Naked infants smile
through storm-lashed lullabies,
wet seasons high on promise.
Then come the cloudless days
the ebbing away, scavenging
black fish from muddy pools
the suffocated trees emerging,
homes left high and dry.

It’s the little things: a tender
tiny peck, the kiss of death;
a whining in the night;
a fever; nothing much to eat
or one unguarded moment
at the water’s edge.

Clare Kirwan is co-founder of Poetry24 ‘where news is the muse.’ She has been placed in various national and international competitions and her work appears in a wide range of journals and anthologies including The Found Poetry Review; Binnacle; Grasslimb Journal; Prole; Orbis and MsLexia. Her first collection: The Silence Museum is published this year.

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