Issue Three:

Will Pittam

WINTER 2020/21

Poetry

Turning Seven at Mor Glas Cottage

A bookcase packed with faded nature guides:

Sharks of the British Seas, ink sketches

of dogfish & porbeagle in profile,

The Collins Guide to Fossil Hunting,

thin, splayed fingers of prehistoric ferns.

 

A family in strange silence, listening

to the hum of rock, travelling clock of ball

against cricket bat. The smell of fresh paint,

flowers, &, faintly, of other people – past guests.

& my new half brother & my father

speaking German on the patio at night.

From my window: glow of their cigarettes

like distant harbour lights.

 

This was their lost world: my father’s past;

my discovery, at least, of its textures, ribs

of Jurassic bracken, & the ammonite

my half brother gave me for a birthday

present, one housed in plastic he’d bought

from a local gift shop. Because we’d failed

to find our own. All we’d found was insects,

or, as he called them, for he didn’t know

the word: Animals.

Then my mother hunting for the source

of a draft my father couldn’t feel

while I counted currency of sea-glass,

handed her those salt-washed jewels,

as if to buy her peace. He & she on the patio

with the watermelon I smashed against the stones

when their shouting matched the sea.

 

& now my half brother & I listening to the roar

of the present: a bedroom door slammed shut.

Screaming wind over solid slate cliffs.

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 Will Pittam was born in Wolverhampton and grew up in Staffordshire. He gained his MFA in the United States, at the University of Arkansas. His work has appeared in The Manchester Review, Bare Fiction and Ink Sweat & Tears. He currently lives in London, where he works in education.

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