For Juliet (Shortlisted 2018 POETRY ON LOAN competition)

by Sharon Ashton


For Juliet   (Shortlisted 2018 POETRY ON LOAN competition)

There are moments when you’ll pause, your limbs strained

cormorant-like towards another sun,

before you plunge seaward; or else remain.

For those behind, perhaps, who would persuade

with scarred hearts, or for fear of what’s to come,

there are moments when you’ll pause, your limbs strained.

Then you’ll kiss long-legged boys and feel the pain

of mermaids afraid of the waves they’ve swum,

before you plunge seaward; or else remain.

But still you’ll be restless, and though you gain

a little space from the salt-water thrum,

there are moments when you’ll pause, your limbs strained,

aching for something you cannot explain

to yourself, or those with dreams to be spun,

before you plunge seaward; or else remain.

And the foam will sing to beguile again,

and you’ll go, learning once the path’s begun,

there are moments when you’ll pause, your limbs strained,

before you plunge seaward; or else remain.